Friday, April 11, 2008

7-Eleven Signs Lease On Wilson

Courtesy Magnolia-Malden Neighbors:
Dear Neighbor,
7-Eleven has signed a lease to move into the spot where Hull House used to be on Wilson Avenue (Wilson and Clifton). They wish to have a liquor license to be able to sell beer and wine. They are a 24-hour operation.

As there is currently a liquor license moratorium, they need our support to get the alderman's support to get the license. We have many concerns as well as possible solutions to this issue.

The board is meeting with the 7-Eleven regional manager and the building owner, Newcastle Ltd on Thursday the 16th to discuss these issues.

If you'd like to attend, send me an email, or if you just wish to voice an opinion or concern, let me know that as well. We will discuss all concerns with both parties. Thanks much.

Kathy Cook

Magnolia Malden Block Club

Update: Thanks to "Uptown Gal" who pointed out that this 7-Eleven has been listed in this space on the realtor's website for approximately a month now. Check out the site plan above.


  1. Wouldn't be my first choice but its better than an empty spot.

  2. Sorry - a liquor store next to the Wilson Men's Hotel, which already has a loitering and public drinking problem?

    Seems like a way to stop all progress that's been made on that stretch of Wilson.

    Not to mention making it even more unpleasant as a pedestrian street.

    In this case, an empty storefront is the better option.

  3. These are the comments I sent off. Not sure if I am off base but this is what came to mind.


    In response to your question or comments about 7-11 opening in the
    neighborhood, This is what came to my mind in no particular order.

    1. I think from a safety concern it would be great to have a 24 hour
    business to duck into between the Wilson stop and the entertainment
    area ie Green Mill, Riviera, Aragon, in the event I felt uneasy. I
    live on Wilson and sometimes if I go to an event at any of these
    places I opt for a cab rather than take what sometimes can be a risky
    short stroll home. Once I get to Wilson I am fine as I have Nicks as a
    safe place than a little further down I have the Fire Department. So
    the addition of a business in a deserted area I find very attractive.
    However I would not find the location as attractive if it was a
    7-Eleven set up where the employees were behind bulletproof glass,
    separated from the customers.

    2. I am concerned about the Liquor License application as it would
    kind of negate the safe house idea if this 7-Eleven became similar to
    the JJ Peppers on Lawrence and Sheridan. Some things to combat this

    Limit alcohol purchases No single beers, including 40 oz, or 24 oz containers.
    The Installation of cameras both in the parking lot and inside the store.
    A very stern no panhandling or loitering policy that they enforce
    without prejudice.

    Just my two cents for what it is worth.

  4. I like the idea of easily accessible slurpees in the summer, but I really like Sheridan Liquors. I know that they still have the half case devoted to Natural Ice which seems popular with some of the locals, but they also provide a great selection of belgian beer and microbrews. The wine selection isn't horrible either, they just need to learn to move them away from the window.

  5. The Installation of cameras both in the parking lot and inside the store.

    I agree with the cameras, but what parking lot? I don't know of a parking lot around that building.

  6. Sorry I meant to say interior and exterior. The thought is the same

  7. Truman, I agree with you accept I don't see the 711 as being the problem. The problem is the Wilson Men's Hotel.

  8. LOL

    People are never happy in Uptown. I want this business but not that business etc. Don't you think if more stores open up and the community becomes vibrant some of the section 8 etc will be forced out. I think 711 will do a better job keeping loitering done than JJ Pepers and I know JJ Pepers tries.

    But please all be against and then Shiller will make sure 711 comes.

  9. Sorry I meant to say interior and exterior. The thought is the same
    No worries. I was just a little confused, not trying to be a smart ass :)

    People are never happy in Uptown. I want this business but not that business etc. Don't you think if more stores open up and the community becomes vibrant some of the section 8 etc will be forced out. I think 711 will do a better job keeping loitering done than JJ Pepers and I know JJ Pepers tries.

    I am all for legitimate businesses coming in, I just hope that it doesn't push out one that I already enjoy. I am not against corporations, but in this instance I like my independent liquor/convienence store. Selfishly, I live right by Sheridan Liquors, so it is great that even in the dead of winter, I don't even have to throw on a coat to run to the store to grab something I need for dinner. A 7-11 would eb farther away.

    I am all for 7-11 as long as Sheridan is able to survive as well. The more thriving businesses, the better :)

  10. Where is Sheridan Park Liquors? is it right next to Godfather's?

  11. Where is Sheridan Park Liquors? is it right next to Godfather's?

    Yes, that's it.

  12. Why is anyone complaining about us discussing whether this place should be allowed a liquor license in a moratorium area?

    That is the type of discussion that normal communities have all the time. It took alot of hard work to get that limitation in place and if this place does not work out, it will take much more to get it reinstituted.

    There is nothing unusual about questioning this.

  13. Sheridan Park Liquors has a fairly decent selection of Beers that 7-11 will never carry, not to mention that 7-11 alcohol prices are higher than any other retail chain period. Don't forget Rayan's Liquors on the corner of Clark/Wilson, they also have a decent Beer selection that is cheeper than 7-11.

    Of course, if I really need to stock up I go to Sams Wine and Liquors in Lincoln park. They have the best selection of anything alcohol related not to mention a knowledgeable staff and the best prices in Chicago. If it can be shipped to the midwest, they either have it or can get it.

    I agree with others that the problem is the Wilson Mens Hotel. If you think loitering is bad now, just wait till 7-11 goes in. If they agreed not to sell individual cans of beer/liquor it might help. Isn't that location just feet away from a homeless shelter as well?

    I have no problem with 7-11 as a chain, I just wonder if having access to alcohol in that area almost 24hrs a day is a good idea. Where else can you get alcohol past 1am in Uptown? I think the grocery stores close at 12am and Sheridan Park Liquors/Rayan's close around 1am. That would make 7-11 "the place" for alcohol in all of 23XX which seems to me would actually bring more late night riff-raff to an already problematic area.

    When do they stop selling alcohol? I always guessed it was 2am. Of all the times I have purchased beer I have never once been told "sorry sir, alcohol sales are closed."

  14. Interesting stuff here:

    and here:

    These links are to "The 'Broken Heart' of Rogers Park". A 7-11 in that neighborhood wanted a liquor license and the community successfully slammed it down. Interesting stuff. I know that the guy who runs that blog has posted here before. It'd be great if he chimed in with his take on what happened there.

    Personally I'm torn on whether 7-11 should sell liquor on Wilson. On the one hand, it may not be economically feasible for it to be there without liquor sales. On the other hand, the last thing that stretch of Wilson needs is more cheap booze for drunks. I think the ideas raised by PB as far as restricting sales of single cans and perhaps time restrictions as well are good ones. However, I also worry that any restriction will be toothless and constantly in danger of disappearing as long as Shiller is alderman. I simply do not trust her.

  15. The Men's Club days are numbers. They will have $400K one bedroom, free cable, drug trafficing in Wilson Yard soon. One Wilson to another. So bring in the 7-11. btw - noone ever recalls that the cable bill in Wilson Cabrini is footed by the tax payers. I guess cable tv is as important as heat and water.

  16. I looked up the number of arrests for drugs by census tracts (this proposed store is within census tract 031600).

    Here’s what I found for drug arrests in the past 12 months (Used Clear Path on the Police Website)

    The average # of arrests per census tract in Chicago is around 30 per year.

    The standard deviation is 48 (30 arrests + standard deviation of 48 would put a census tract in the 90th percentile range, more or less).

    Census tract 031600 is 125, which means it scores 2 standard deviations above the mean.

    This rate of arrests means that this particular census tract is approximately in the 95th percentile. Around 5% of other census tracts in all of Chicago have more drug arrests.

    I would be more inclined to approve a liquor store license if Ald. Shiller, the police, and CAPS could lower the rate of drug use on that census tract to something more acceptable to the community, and we could give them a reasonable amount of time to do it.

    I know drug use is not the same as alcohol use, but my observation has been that where I see lots of public drinking, I usually see more arrests for drug use.

  17. James you know that kind of well reasoned, fact-based analysis ain't welcome in Uptown :)

  18. James - Very interesting, but I have to agree - Can you put that in regular readers speak?


  19. Stankie20, I was being entirely sarcastic with that last post. I thought James' post was very clear and well articulated. What don't you get? He's saying that the area around the proposed 7-11 has a really bad drug problem and that it might be wise to prohibit alchohol sales at the proposed store until the community is able to show some measurable progress in getting drugs out of the area.

  20. I don't get it--is the 7-Eleven deal contingent on a liquor license? I'd like to think that a convenience store has much more to offer than just booze. Personally, I'd be more likely to frequent it for my late-night munchy runs and get my six-packs elsewhere. In the short term I think a 24-hour liquor outlet will likely to cost our community more than we gain.

  21. The standard deviation information gets complicated but it does to give a more accurate picture of what's really happening. Basically though, 95% of the census tracts in Chicago have fewer drug arrests than this 1 particular census tract.

    There are some valid pros and cons either way, and I'm hoping members of the Magnolia-Malden Block Club have their concerns heard & addressed. I really defer to them because they are the ones that have to deal with any problems that may arise. Now is the time though to get a solid commitment on what objective steps will be taken to reduce the crime in this area.

    The other obstacle is the lack of an alley for Clifton, which means Cornerstone Ministries and Nick's must have their trash receptacles off the sidewalk on Clifton. There's a lot to consider.

  22. Let me get this straight:

    You want to encourage the sale of cheap booze in an area that is already a hangout for dirtbags drinking cheap booze.

    Brilliant. What a great idea. I'm assuming you have some kind of ve$ted intere$t in this proposal?

  23. Think of the other 24-hour operation in Uptown that sells booze: JJ Peppers at Lawrence and Sheridan. Scary as hell, particularly late at night. Now imagine that transported to Wilson, with the added attractions of the Wilson Mens Hotel and the Cornerstone shelters.


  24. This is nuts we all have valid points in a rational neighborhood. This 7-Eleven has a primo spot, with or without liquor. How many people hit Wilson and Broadway on a weekday? Coffee and muffin sales not to mention the fresh fruit the nice 7-Eleven stores have could more than support the business. I say we revisit the issue in a year.
    Open and we will see how you do.

    All we can say is we are watching we will discuss it in a year. for now show us how much you want our business.

  25. Oh yes pb - those creepy-crawlies that will be hanging-out (like the jj peppers) will be interested mainly in fresh fruit and muffins.

    They have no interest in asking you for 'change on your way out' or in the cheapest vodka in the store.

    Now, drink some more Schiller KoolAid.

  26. When I lived in the south part of the ward, near a busy transportation site, the convenience stores did well, even without selling booze. As PB said, people were grabbing coffee and muffins on their way to work and dinner on their way home.

    I have no doubt 7-11 could do well at this location, and that the "non-skeevies" would benefit. I also see its location near Truman College as a big benefit for the students.

    My fear is that alcohol sales would bring it to the level of JJ Peppers, particularly with the Wilson Hotel and the already dicey loitering/public drinking situation at that corner.

  27. And now for something completely different:

    Eskimo Disco 7-11

  28. They already signed the lease so the economics already work out without the booze in the mix. Also, look down the street at the two other 7-Elevens on Clark. They don't sell booze. It is not necessary to a successful operation.

    Besides it is right around the corner from a family shelter, a children's day care center, and SHOULDN'T THE JESUS PEOPLE BE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS? What about the SRO management company's that offer services to substance abusers's? Why don't they speak up on these issues?

  29. "What about the SRO management company's that offer services to substance abusers's? Why don't they speak up on these issues?"

    Why would they want to dry up their customer base?

  30. Liquor sales here would be like giving a 5-year old a stick of dynamite and a book of matches.

  31. I'm guessing the folks that actually live in this neigborhood are the better judges of granting a license to sell alcohol. If there is loitering going on already, count on much more in front of a store that sells liquor in Uptown. I live on Windsor and there used to be a Lakeview Food store across the street that sold alcohol and not much food. 10 to 20 people hung out in front of the store throughout the evening. Luckily it's been gone for a while now.

  32. Yes, we had the same problem with Walgreens at Marine and Lakeside until they were "encouraged" to eliminate their liquor license.

  33. The website for the realtor whose sign is posted on front of that building has had a sketched diagram of the building with the 7-11 in it for over a month.

  34. Jay Bomberg, who owns the Wilson Club Hotel, has an office right down the street. (In fact, it's right next door to the dumpster that's parked in the space reserved for handicapped parking, but which the city claims is a loading zone. Yeah, that area's just a vortex of the bizarre.)

    So if you have any questions about the Wilson hotel, how he feels about a liquor store going in at the 7-11, or his place on the board of directors of Business Partners, you can contact him at:

    Bomberg Property Management
    915 W. Wilson Ave.
    Chicago, IL 60640

  35. Why would our Chamber want someone on their board who owns and runs the most notorious and loathed SRO in our neighborhood?

  36. He's on the board of directors? That seems a little counter-productive. That hole in the wall is killing retail on Wilson, exactly what this organization is supposed to be improving. No wonder UBP will never take a stand on getting rid of it. It all makes sense now.

  37. My guess is that Jay Bomberg is pretty happy about a tenant in the former Hull House space as he the owner of that building as well.

  38. How is Michael Roper the owner of the Hopleaf on the UpTown Chamber of Commerce. His bar is in Andersonville, though I wish it was in UpTown.

  39. Since Uptown goes all the way up to Foster on the north, it includes Hopleaf.

  40. I have not heard anyone say that the 7-11 was contingent on the liquor license. Do we know if this is the case?

  41. Back to the matter of 7-11 wanting a liquor license. A community meeting should be held to discuss the request and let the residents who will be most impacted by this decision determine what's best for their neighborhood.

  42. To the last poster, that sounds like the appropriate process, but this is Shiller's ward, so it is hard to place much faith in a process like this actually having any effect. I suspect that whether 7-11 gets the license or not will be based entirely on Shiller's whim, and not the say of the community, regardless of what happens at any public meeting.

  43. I disagree, community input will be necessary if 7-11 wants a liquor license.

    This decision should be made by the residents who live in the area.
    A community meeting, survey,whatever should be conducted to determine what they believe is best for them.

    This shouldn't be the decision of a board members on a block club.

  44. "I suspect that whether 7-11 gets the license or not will be based entirely on Shiller's whim, and not the say of the community, regardless of what happens at any public meeting."

    I suspect that whether 7-11 gets the license or not will be based entirely on whether or not they employ Brendan Shiller to get their license for them!

  45. I hope they open we need a clean business like 711 in Uptown.

    Wish they would put one where JJ Pepers is too.

  46. Is it me or does it look like the front of the building on Wilson is sagging on the second floor? It's a great building, don't get me wrong but I think it's needs a facelift.

  47. I think it is just how the building has settled over the last 90 years. When you are in front of Truman looking back towards it, it is noticeable but I don't think it is that bad.

  48. The problem has always been that there's never been any formalized process to obtain community input. It all depends on how Helen feels about it. If she wants it, there's pretend community input. If she isn't sure, there's disjointed community input. If the business is giving money to her campaign, well, that's a whole other matter.

  49. Give a round of applause to Alderman Smith and the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce for the incredible job they've done on Clark Street.

    They did it right. Encouraging local businesses that keep money flowing in the community, not out of state to big national chains.

    They did it right. With block club and neighborhood participation to bring retails residents wanted.

    They did it right. With beautiful streetscaping, welcoming benches and landscaping. Good lighting for safety.

    They did it right. With festivals and public spaces that encourage and engage residents to enjoy their community.

    They did it right. With setbacks and height restrictions that keep the character and pedestrian friendly atmosphere.

  50. You're right, anon 11:58. Clark Street is a gem. And, there is no mistaking that you are in CHICAGO and there's no mistaking the diverse groups of people who have called/do call that area home when you walk down the street: Swedes, Germans, Persians, "Girls Towners," etc. (Those are groups that immediately came to mind---who have I left out?)

    We can and should have more of that feeling in Uptown's retail corridors, if only...

  51. Well, we get a graff wall for the kids to do graffiti at the annual Unity Festival every summer. That's something, isn't it? I'm afraid to have higher expectations for fear of being told I need to move to Lincoln Park.