New late-night/4 a.m. liquor licenses would be banned in 45th Ward
by BRIAN NADIG
The 45th Ward would become the eighth ward in the city to prohibit the issuance of new late-night liquor licenses under a proposal by Alderman John Arena.
It is believed that the ordinance would leave the ward with only one late-night tavern, Zachary’s at 5368 N. Milwaukee Ave., according to Arena’s chief of staff Owen Brugh. Lasko’s Tavern, 5525 N. Milwaukee Ave., has a late-night license but closed several years ago after it lost its state liquor license, and the building is being renovated for other commercial uses.
Liquor licenses allow businesses to serve liquor until 2 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays and until 3 a.m. on Sunday, but those hours are extended by 2 hours for businesses with a late-night license. A ban on new late-night licenses exists in the 19th, 32nd, 42nd, 43rd, 44th, 47th and 50th wards.
In 2014 the owner of Brudder’s Bar, 3600 W. Addison St., looked into obtaining a late-night license, but the proposal never materialized. It is not easy to obtain a late-night license because applicants are required to obtain the signatures on a support petition from more than 50 percent of the registered voters who live within 500 feet of the site, Brugh said.
In addition, Arena has introduced ordinances to lift the moratorium on new packaged liquor licenses at five locations in the ward, including 7-11 convenience stores at 4859 and 5316 N. Milwaukee Ave. A prospective new owner of the stores has a good tracked record operating several suburban 7-11 stores, and if the existing licenses are transferred, he will be required to follow the existing special restrictions for those sites, including a ban on the sale of half-pints and single-serve beers, Brugh said.
Bans also would be lifted at 4901 W. Irving Park Road to allow for a proposed Binny’s Beverage Depot and at the site of the closed Savoy Food & Liquor, 4138 N. Milwaukee Ave., where a new convenience store would be opening. The prospective owner of the Savoy site has agreed to several restrictions, including a ban on the sale of half-pints, single-serve beers and hard liquor for not less than $6.99, and the store will have hours shorter than the maximum allowed under city ordinance, Brugh said.
Also, another moratorium would be lifted to allow for a packaged liquor license at Sandy’s Bakery and Deli, 5857 W. Lawrence Ave. “The owners of Sandy’s plan to sell a small selection of Serbian alcohol to complement their existing business. The have agreed to confine the alcohol to a small space,” Arena wrote in his weekly newsletter.