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20 Year Devon Liquor License Ban To Be Debated To Allow New Pub

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Proposed New Building Facade

A 20-year-old liquor license moratorium is to be debated at a public meeting tomorrow to possibly allow for a new brew pub at 1221-27 W. Devon (at Magnolia) in the 48th Ward.

The moratorium, which was imposed by the City Council pursuant to an ordinance sponsored by Alderman Patrick O’Connor, has lasted 20 years. Since then, no new liquor licenses have been permitted on the Devon strip. EVB has not been able to determine why the moratorium was imposed in the first place.

The brew pub, which will be owned by Alex Drayer, has plans to actually brew the beer on site for sale to the customers. However, this will require a zoning change on Devon.

Unfortunately, things have gotten a bit more complicated since the ban went into effect. This portion of Devon used to be entirely in Ald. O’Connor’s ward. Now, because of shifting ward boundaries, the street falls in three aldermanic wards (Patrick O’Connor, Harry Osterman and Joe Moore). The property officially sits on Harry Osterman’s turf and he will make the final decision. However, all three aldermen will have to be in support of the zoning change.

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Current site. Photo: Ald. Moore Website

If all three alderman reach an agreement, the City Council will have to lift the moratorium on Devon. But even then, the pub owner will have to apply for a liquor license (which is not a sure thing). Drayer must satisfy the City’s criteria for a liquor license and the application is subject to the approval of the City of Chicago’s Local Liquor Control Commissioner. The aldermen and resident support of the new pub will help influence that decision.

All three aldermen will be in attendance at the zoning change meeting, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 28, at the Heartland Health Center, 1300 W. Devon. Drayer, as well as the owner of the property, Scott Whelan, will be on hand to present their proposal and respond to questions.


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