Friday, August 14, 2015

Empty Shelves, Empty Store: No More S-L Pantry?

It's been rumored since spring, but it appears the convenience store at the southeast corner of Lawrence and Sheridan, most recently known as SL Foods, is no longer in business. A reader sent us photos showing that today the Cook County Sheriff's Office placed an eviction notice on the door.

While some neighbors registered complaints about the business practices of the Pantry and are no doubt relieved to hear this news, we realize that the store provided a family's livelihood for close to a decade, and we wish them better fortune in their next undertaking.

The three-story building, built in 1906 and still handsome, includes 24 residential units and the storefronts along Sheridan, which are currently home to Papa Ray's Pizza, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, Reflection Hair Salon, and Unity Christian Church. The entire property has been under the control of a receiver for many months and is for sale (know any real estate entrepreneurs?). With Lawrence House Pharmacy brightening up a long-empty dark storefront across the street in the ICA GreenRise building, and Weiss Plaza no longer functioning as an open-air drug market, we hope whatever happens at the southeast corner contributes to the intersection's upswing.


  1. Something vibrant and inviting needs to come to that corner storefront. The whole building should be renovated. It's a great looking building which would accompany the renovation of the Lawrence House.

    1. Before Weiss Plaza, there was a bar on the northwest corner. Perhaps a bar--a sports bar--could go in where s-L was.

    2. Can't have a bar near places of worship. That place is surrounded. People's Church. Unity Christian Church. Missio Dei. Christian Fellowship For All Nations. Living Comfort Ministries. New Hope International Church. Anawim Spiritual Center for Native Americans. Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America. The Key Way To Heaven Ministries.

      You also can't have a bar near a homeless shelter. Sarah's Circle. The men's shelter in the Preston Bradley Center.

      J.J. Peppers license goes back decades and was grandfathered in.

      Good thought. Bad location.

    3. I guess we will have to wait, then, until what was the New Lawrence Hotel reopens. There, I believe, a bar is planned.

    4. Is that right? Where did you hear that? I know heritage outpost is opening there but I didn't know a bar was going to open there.

    5. If there are a ton of religious organizations in the ICA Building across the street, opening a bar could be problematic at that location. Liquor licenses can't be issued within 100 feet of a building that houses a place of worship or school, and it's measured from property line to property line.

  2. I really want a bar too! We already have a sports bar (Crew). I like FatCat but its kind of expensive.

    BTW I don't have much sympathy for whoever owned this business. I went in there once when I moved to the area and it was pathetic. Everything was cramped and messy, and the coolers weren't even working. I told the guy at the counter and he was aware they weren't cold and didn't seem to care. They still had gallons of milk and some eggs in them. I have no idea how it stayed open when JJPeps has most of the same products.

  3. Adding a fun restaurant ( like the former Pasteur) or another bar would add to the entertainment district of the neighborhood. If the alleged religious organizations do not like this, then make them pay property taxes like everyone else--then they can speak on equal terms.