Neighbors OK Happy Village dining plan

Dimitrios Christopoulos, Cherlyn Pilch and Andrew Miller address Happy Village neighbors.

By a show of hands, neighbors agreed with a prospective new owner's plans to add food service at the Happy Village tavern, with homes replacing the adjoining game room.

"There are still some questions," said Ald. Brian Hopkins, who must guide a liquor license transfer through the Liquor Control Commission and City Council. "If you live near Happy Village we absolutely want to hear from you."

The vote was opened to all 55 people attending the Oct. 1 East Village Association membership meeting, many of whom lived near the bar at 1059 N. Wolcott Ave.

Hopkins said he would reimpose a license freeze and downzone the adjoining building, leaving the bar as the block's only commercial property.

Lawyer Dimitrius Christopoulos put a $3 million price on the project.

EVA Monday: Happy Village vote

Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott Ave.

East Village Association members will take a vote Oct. 1 advising Ald. Brian Hopkins on plans for Happy Village, 1059 N. Wolcott Ave. Members meet at 7pm down the block at the Bath House Cultural Center, 1019 N. Wolcott Ave.

The 2nd Ward alderman must decide whether to introduce a City Council ordinance permitting a liquor license transfer to prospective buyers Andrew Miller and Addison Thom. At EVA's Aug. 6 membership meeting, Miller and Thom described their plans to renovate the property, add restaurant service and sell the connected building at 1057 N. Wolcott Ave., now the bar's pingpong room.

A sunroom will enclose part of the patio, according to a revised plan of operation submitted to EVA this week. The draft agreement with the city Liquor Control Commission outlines restrictions that would be added to the liquor license. Several commitments are intended to reduce the impact on neighboring homes. They include bartender training, a 10-person indoor waiting area, video surveillance and a pledge not to hire a parking valet. The agreement could be revised with the alderman's input.

Beyond the license restrictions, the buyers propose to seek R-5 residential zoning for the adjoining parcel, which would indicate a 45-foot height limit on new construction. In previous meetings, neighbors have sought more restrictive zoning, a reimposition of the current license moratorium and renovations consistent with East Village Landmark District requirements.

Menu and other restaurant details were presented to the EVA board in July.

Community Justice Center tackles west side crime issues

From the Happy Village patio, Pauline Dengler describes the Cook County State's Attorney's west side initiatives.

Two prosecutors work out of the Community Justice Center at 715 W. Maxwell St. At the Sept. 10 EVA meeting, community liaison Pauline Dengler described their action on crimes in the 11th and 12th Chicago Police districts and on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus. Dengler's classes and programs for community members include court advocacy, a self-defense course and "Keeping It Real" panel discussions with ex-offenders.

Delia Ramirez, an unopposed candidate for the Illinois House of Representatives, told members she would for advisory committees on public safety, housing, schools and other local issues. Ramirez noted that a large class of new state representatives could pull the legislature toward more progressive stands.

A membership vote on Happy Village rezoning is scheduled for the Oct. 1 at an unconfirmed location. President Michael VanDam summarized discussion during and after the Aug. 6 member meeting about the pending sale of the 1059 N. Wolcott Ave. site. A draft plan of operation will be posted beforehand.

Happy Village liquor moratorium vote postponed

Due to a number of open questions, the advisory vote on the liquor moratorium lift on Wolcott has been postponed, currently till Oct. 1. Watch this space for more information before the vote about Happy Village's Plan of Operation and other issues.

Here's a replay of the Aug. 6 meeting at the tavern, 1059 N. Wolcott Ave. Prospective buyers describe plans to add restaurant service. Dimitrios G. Christopoulos, attorney for the seller, is the main speaker.

Happy Village sale would put renovations on tap

Happy Village, 1057-59 N. Wolcott Ave.

The Happy Village tavern would become a restaurant under new owners. They're requesting a member vote Monday that would consent to lifting a liquor license moratorium at 1057-59 N. Wolcott. The license freeze now blocks any new operator from taking over.

The outcome is not binding on 2nd Ward Ald. Brian Hopkins, who would be making a recommendation to the City Council.

Cheryln Pilch plans to sell the Happy Village tavern business. She joined the prospective purchasers, Andrew Miller and Addison Thom, in making a July 16 presentation to the EVA board. A previous sale proposal in 2016 was withdrawn.

The new prospective purchasers, Andrew Miller and Addison Thom, say they will restore the bar's kitchen and introduce chef-driven casual American fare. The renovations include reducing the size of the patio by adding a glass enclosure. This solarium type structure would take up about half the patio.

EVA backs Hermitage apartment rezoning

Marland Hobbs speaks to EVA members at Happy Village.

East Village Association members on July 9 backed landlord Marland Hobbs’ plan to convert retail space on Hermitage and add transit-oriented apartments.

  • Welcome (Michael VanDam)
  • Shakespeare in the Park preview (Elizabeth Nungaray)
  • Presentation and vote on 1115 N. Hermitage (Marland Hobbs): The owner made a case to build apartments over a garage to "domesticate" the alley south of Division Street. Rezoning for 7 units still would not conform to the surrounding 3-flats. The Planning, Preservation and Development committee had recommended only to convert first-floor commercial space. Members voted 14-10 not to oppose Hobbs' request.