2nd meeting expected on proposed Norwood Park liquor store
by BRIAN NADIG
Plans to open the first liquor store in Downtown Norwood Park are progressing, but a final decision will not be made until a second community meeting on the proposal is held this winter, according to Alderman Anthony Napolitano (41st).
The full-service liquor store would be located in a 2,100-square-foot space in a shopping plaza at 6060 N. Northwest Highway. The only other business on Northwest Highway in Norwood Park that sells packaged liquor is Ada’s Market and Deli, 6165 N. Northwest Highway, but the sale of liquor there must be incidental to food sales.
About 50 people attended a Jan. 27 community meeting which Napolitano hosted at the Norwood Park fieldhouse, 5801 N. Natoma Ave.
An agreement on a closing time for the proposed Wine and Spirits is one of the issues which needs to be worked out in a plan of operation that would become a condition of the store’s license, Napolitano said.
A proposal to open a liquor store in Downtown Norwood Park in 2014 failed in part because the operator wanted a closing time of midnight, and residents would not agree to it, Napolitano said. Liquor licenses typically allow for sales until 2 a.m. unless there is a time restriction in the store’s plan of operation.
Bill, Assimakopoulos, the owner of the proposed store, has asked for an 11 p.m. closing, with an earlier time on Sundays, Napolitano said. “It seemed that the residents were pretty receptive to it. Will it be so? I don’t know,” he said.
Some residents argued for 10 p.m., Napolitano said.
Residents also are seeking a ban on the sale of singe-serve beer containers and assurances that the store’s inventory would feature high-end liquor products, Napolitano said. The consumption of liquor inside the store would not be allowed, he said.
Assimakopoulos said that the store would include a small number of food items, such as European chocolates. Assimakopoulos, a graduate of Taft High School, owns the Vineyards of Lincolnwood, 7177 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincolnwood.
Napolitano said that based on the discussions at the meeting, he was optimistic that an agreement would be reached between the residents and Assimakopoulos. “I’m excited we have a business owner who wants to work with the community,” Napolitano said.
The project would require the lifting of a moratorium on packaged liquor licenses which is in place along Northwest Highway between Raven Street and Neola Avenue. The store would in the plaza’s northern half, which is located in a “wet” precinct, as the southern half is in a “dry” precinct that bans liquor sales.