New operator named for planned Norwood Pk liquor store
by BRIAN NADIG
One of the owners of Community Food and Liquor, 5530 N. Milwaukee Ave., is seeking to open the first liquor store on Northwest Highway in Downtown Norwood Park.
Named “Norwood Wine and Spirits,” the 2,000-square-foot store would be at 6054-56 N. Northwest Hwy. in the 6060 Plaza shopping center. “We’re going to have a wide selection of craft beers and fine wines, a high-end store” said Ken Patel, whose co-owner is his son-in-law, Nick Patel.
Ken Patel became interested in the site after the project’s initial operator, Bill Assimakopoulos, dropped out. Patel also is opening a hair salon in the plaza.
Alderman Anthony Napolitano (41st) is planning to support the project after the operators agreed to the same restrictions which Assimakopoulos had signed off on, said Napolitano’s chief of staff Chris Vittorio. Those restrictions, which would become a condition of the store’s licenses, include a closing time of 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends and a ban on the sale of water pipes, loose cigarettes and high-gravity malt liquors such as Colt 45.
The project would require that the City Council lift a moratorium on licenses for liquor stores along that stretch of Northwest Highway and that the Zoning Board of Appeals issue a special use permit. A ban on liquor sales was lifted in parts of the area in 2006, which led to the opening of several restaurants with bars and a retail liquor section in Ada’s Market, 6165 N. Northwest Hwy.
Vittorio said that the project represents a significant investment in the shopping district and that store operators introduced themselves to residents at a March 30 community meeting hosted by Napolitano.
Some concern was raised at the meeting that the store could take business away from Ada’s, and there were several questions about the type of liquor products which would offered at the store, Vittorio said. “A lot of it depends on your audience, and what they’re looking for,” he said.
The Community Food store which Patel owns opened in the Gladstone Park commercial district about a year ago.