Retailers stir Chicago Avenue liquor mix; EVA members to advise on new licenses

EVA members will vote March 13 whether to accept new liquor licenses on the 1900 block of Chicago Avenue. The two business owners presented their plans Feb. 7.

A moratorium now restricts new liquor licenses, with restaurants as the only exception, on Chicago Avenue between Damen and Wood in the 36th Ward. The vote would advise Ald. Gilbert Villegas on whether to lift the moratorium for at least a year.

Passages Wine and Books: The wine cafe at 1911 W. Chicago will serve glasses of wine as well as pour-over coffee and other nonalcoholic beverages, as well as snacks, popcorn and tinned fish. "It is time to start something that brings me and others joy," said business ownber Amanda Sadowski a social worker in Chicago for 15 years. The bookstore's bar would not qualify for the restaurant exception for new liquor licenses. The building previously housed online retail and a martial arts studio.

The Happy Hour Shop: The barware shop plans weekly private events and home bartending classes of up to 15 people at 1919 W. Chicago Ave., the former Velveteen Rabbit children's bookstore. Jess and John Feller operate Aged & Infused, an online seller of bar accessories on the Near West Side, tested the storefront concept last year at the West Town Chamber of Commerce pop-up space.

Both businesses have offered to draft plans of operations that would limit their liquor sales and hours of operations. The moratorium encourages art galleries and other businesses that might not afford the rents of a hospitality district.

Members can vote on the moratorium lift during the 7pm Maarch 13 meeting at Roots Pizza West Town, 1924 N. Chicago Ave.

Officer search committee named

Christina Slaton plans to stand down as EVA president. She named Bob Zwolinski, Alison Coughlin and Michael VanDam to the nominating committee for the March 6 election.

The area is seeing signs of gang activity, from graffiti to bent street signs, said treasurer Bob Zwolinski. Report concerns to police and to the local alderman.

The West Town Branch Library has returned to full staffing, said Stephanie Flinchbaugh, West Town Branch Library manager. The branch has lanched a Sunday writer's group and is promoting the city's new digital museum passes, which do not require passes. Library card owners can also access books, movies and magazines via the Libby and Hoopla apps.


Aria Degillio, a master's degree candidate at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing, said she would speak with community members after the meeting about health and safety concerns to draft a neighborhood health plam.

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