Liquor store planned at site of Savoy business
by BRIAN NADIG
The Savoy Food and Liquor store, 4138 N. Milwaukee Ave., could close this summer to allow the storefront to be remodeled so that a new liquor store can open there.
The owner of the proposed Portage Park Wine and Spirits plans to apply for a new packaged liquor license instead of seeking a transfer of Savoy’s license, which expires on Aug. 31, according to Alderman John Arena’s chief of staff Owen Brugh.
The store operates in an 87-year-old two-story brick building with apartments on the second floor at the northwest corner of Milwaukee and Warner avenues.
The C1-1 zoning of the site allows for the sale of packaged liquor, but the project would require Arena to lift a moratorium on new packaged liquor licenses that he implemented in 2014 in nearly all commercial areas of the ward. The moratorium is designed to give residents more of a say on the opening of new liquor stores.
Moratoriums typically are implemented in 2-block stretches, and lifting the moratorium for the area around the Savoy would have to remain in effect for at least 1 year. Existing liquor licenses for businesses affected by a moratorium can be transferred to a new owner, but there are several restrictions.
Only one resident attended a community meeting on the project that Arena held on July 13. The new operator has other liquor stores in the city, Brugh said.