Proposed West Loop liquor store suspended after neighbors voice concerns

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WEST LOOP – A project for a liquor store and convenience store in the West Loop is on hold after the community refuses to lift a moratorium on alcohol sales.

Lakeside Food Wine and Spirits is a liquor store and convenience store with locations in Buena Park and Lincoln Park. Store owner Narendra B. Patel wants to open a store at 236 S. Racine Avenue. To do this, the alderman should lift a moratorium on alcohol in this place, but the neighbors have spoken out against it.

Most of the concerns raised by residents at a recent community meeting were “traditional,” Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) said. They mainly concerned the fact that the proposed liquor store is near a childcare center and a Mercy Home for Boys and Girls.

Residents also asked for clarification on Patel’s business plan based on his other locations, Ervin said.

“There were definitely some unanswered questions and some things the store and the business owner will need to address to overcome the bump with the community,” Ervin said.

A representative from The Learning Experience, the early childhood center, and May Toy, vice president of Neighbors of West Loop, echoed the sentiment.

“Operationally there is no parking, so there are concerns about where people will park to pick up alcohol and how far it will be from children and a daycare. Toy said.

The Learning Experience representative said most of the concerns she had heard came from parents worried about who a liquor store might bring to an area where children often walk to school.

The community’s concerns were presented to Patel, who said he still decides to go ahead with the proposal.

“It’s totally up to him to keep the residents of the neighborhood happy before moving forward,” Ervin said. “The business must have the support of the community for # 1 to exist and # 2 for us to push forward legislation to lift the [liquor sales] moratorium.

Ervin said there would be no further community meeting until he received confirmation from Patel or his lawyers that they are ready to adjust their business plan to address the concerns of the community.

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