Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thank Heaven For 7-Eleven

From Cityside/News-Star

Uptown block clubs in the 46th Ward will be confabbing with regional 7-Eleven execs that have just inked a lease to move into the space formerly occupied by Hull House at Wilson and Clifton.

The 24/7 convenience store chain is seeking a liquor license to sell beer and wine. Before 7-Eleven can apply for a liquor license, a current moratorium on liquor licenses must be lifted. According to an e-mail missive by the Magnolia Malden Block Club, community input is needed, "to get the alderman's support to get a license."

Ald. Joe Moore, 49th, shot down a similar 7-Eleven request last fall to lift a liquor license moratorium on 1404 W. Pratt after Rogers Park residents overwhelmingly voiced their opposition at a community meeting.

No date has been set for the sit-down, but considering that it's the 46th Ward, News-Star knows that there will be a completely open and transparent community process.


  1. The people who live in this area should have a voice in whether or not 7-11 is allowed to sell liquor.

    Contact your block club and let them know how you feel.

    Graceland Wilson Neighbors if you live between Montrose and Wilson.

    Magnolia Malden Neighbors if you live between Wilson and Lawrence.

  2. The people who live in this area should have a voice...

    They should but that doesn't mean that Alderman Shiller will allow it. This is Chicago and she gets to rule her little fiefdom. Thank goodness we don't have to be subject to prima noche! Eeeww

  3. The neighbors worked very, very hard hard to get this moratorium in place. It required getting the required percentage of registered voters to sign petitions to vote-dry this precints. Shiller's guy Marc Kaplan worked feverlishly to register as many difficult to locate homeless guys and Wilson Hotel residents as possible to up the number of registered voters. And he went after the signers with affadavits to get them to withdraw their siganatures. It was a hard fought battle but the community eventually won.

    If this could simply be overcome by the alderman wishing the moratoriam away it would have been gone along time ago. If Ms. Shiller wishes to remove the moratorium she can do it the old fashioned legal way - put a vote dry referendum up and get the required number of signature to overturn it.

    There is no reason why 7-11 can't operate like many of it's sister stores without a liquor license. It is not our fault that it is choosing to locate next to a faciity that houses many persons with substance abuse issues and an irresponsible management that does nothing about behavior issues related to that substance abuse.

  4. And he went after the signers with affadavits to get them to withdraw their siganatures.

    Did he intimidate people? What happened?

  5. If this area is dry how come Nick's is there?

  6. If this area is dry how come Nick's is there?

    I imagine that they were grandfathered in. They didn't make the area dry, they just got a moratorium in place so that no new liquor licenses are granted in the area. So Sheridan liquors, Nicks, Magnolia Cafe, etc are all good.

  7. give me a break, it's not like they can't go 200 feet to the sheridan park liquors to get liquor. it's more important to get the retail in this corridor.

  8. I think that most would agree that the real issue that is the root of many problems along this stretch of Wilson is the constant loitering in front of the Wilson Club Hotel. If this could be cleaned up I do not think anybody would really care if 7-eleven wanted a liquor permit. I also seem to think that if these loiterers were not there the 1100 block of Wilson Ave. could be a very lucrative location for a retailer. The location is a major entry, exit and transfer point for CTA riders.
    So the big question is how do we correct the problem.

    What successful steps have other areas utilized to make an area free of lurkers? What have other Cities done?

    I remember reading an article about an area in Minneapolis that had similar issues with SRO's gang activity, constant loitering and was the beginning and end of all bus routes in the city. After a large financial investment in the corridor the city still had difficulty finding interested retail tenants because the loiterers and gangs refused to give up their turf.

    The solution they employed was simple and effective. They installed speakers around the building and played opera music at very high volumes. The music served as a sort of repellant, to the lurkers.

    This may or may not work on Wilson but it is something to think about.

  9. Keep the liquor moratorium in place. I can just picture the scene on the street if they get a liquor license at that location. Relentless, aggressive panhandling was the norm at Broadway and Lawrence when the liquor store was open. After it closed, lots of the street problems that existed for years disappeared almost overnight. I live very near that intersection and the change has been incredible since they were forced to close up shop.So I have to walk a few blocks for chips and pop etc...I am so happy the liquor store is gone.

  10. A little birdie tells us that there is to be an initial discussion regarding 7-Eleven on Monday evening, April 21. If anyone else has more info, please add it in the comments.

  11. They installed speakers around the building and played opera music at very high volumes. The music served as a sort of repellant, to the lurkers.

    Hilarious! In college I studied the effects of music on different cultures and found that most people often mimic the music they listen to. Why do you think you never hear a gangbanger rolling down the street blasting Radiohead, Of course, I wouldn't go near a place that played Opera music either.

    I always wanted to do the "effects of music on plants" experiment, except replace plants with babies and continue the experiment till the late teens. In no way would this be ethical but it would be interesting.

    Anyway, I would love a 7-11 at that spot, I just don't think a liquor license is good for the area. Yeah people can walk to the Sheridan Liquors if they want so why should we make it any easier; is one purchase point not enough?

    What would be awesome is being able to get ice cream bars and slurpees on a hot summer day so close to home.

  12. You won't lose the 7-11 without the liquor license. They already rented the place. All they want is more profits from liquor.

    I have the solution. Tell them the community will consider lifting the liquor moratorium, but only if or when the Wilson Hotel is gone as the two uses are not compatible.

  13. PB, what a novel and great idea. Reminded me of The Shawshank Redemption scene when Tim Robbins played opera music and it completley quieted the prisoners.

    We have to face the facts. The Wilson Men's Club, the Cornerstone and the Sylvia Center have concentrated the poverty and problems associated with them.

    A 7-11 selling liquor just feet from all of this would be a time bomb of bad decisions.

  14. A comprise might be to not sell single cans, pints and low end alcohol. No Camo, Wild Irish rose, Natural Ice, etc... Haven't seen too many of these people drinking Amstel Light.

  15. What was the process to get the moratorium is place?

    Who/what must be done to either:
    Keep the moratorium in place
    Change it

    The conditions around this location are very shaky. An SRO, two shelters that have a needle exchange van with home delivery, a cadre of men hanging out on the street, often drinking in public.

    And liquor right there. Not a good idea.