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Neighborhood News

September 27, 2010

You Spoke, We Listened!

Thank you to everyone who voted in our recent online survey about lifting the liquor moratorium along the stretch of North Avenue from Leavitt to Campbell. First Ward Alderman Joe Moreno asked for the WBNA’s recommendation on this important issue, which was being driven by a proposal from Walgreens to sell packaged liquor at its North Avenue location.

Not surprisingly, public opinion came down squarely on the side of leaving the liquor moratorium in place. When the responses were tallied, 86% voted no to lifting the ban, 13% voted yes, and 1% indicated more information was needed.
This is clearly an issue that West Bucktowners feel very passionate about. Survey comments revealed that while residents seemed to understand that Walgreens would indeed be a responsible seller of packaged liquor, the convenience of being able to purchase beer and wine at its stores was overshadowed by the perceived risk that lifting the ban would have on the neighborhood.
Here is just a sampling of the kinds of comments we received:

  • “ABSOLUTELY NOT. No more liquor sales. This is ridiculous. Crime goes up where packaged liquor is available. This is the LAST thing our neighborhood needs.”
  • “It's time to invest in businesses that promote life beyond booze. How about a coffee shop or a nice upscale grocery?”
  • “The convenience of picking up an extra six-pack at Walgreens does not merit even the risk of the potential negative impact that lifting the ban could have on a neighborhood which is emerging, but not fully established yet. Five years from now, if the WBNA remains committed and more new neighbors make their homes here, I might be in favor of this. Not yet.”

This survey came on the heels of a similar petition that circulated among West Bucktown residents a few weeks ago in an attempt to block a new liquor store from opening at the corner of Campbell and North, just outside the boundaries of the current moratorium. Given the results of these two initiatives, it seems clear that West Bucktowners remain committed to limiting the overall concentration of establishments that are permitted to sell liquor in this area.

Based on the WBNA’s recommendation, Alderman Moreno indicated that he will not introduce an ordinance to lift the current moratorium -- the liquor ban will remain in effect along North Avenue. However, because the neighborhood to our immediate north is indifferent to proposed liquor sales at the Walgreen's on Milwaukee at Armitage (just outside West Bucktown boundaries), the Alderman will not oppose lifting the moratorium in that area. 

Again, cheers to everyone for weighing in and making their collective voices heard. This is a great example of the “power of the people”!

Mark Your Calendar!

Wednesday, September 29 @ 6:30 pm
Wicker Park Art Center
2215 W. North Ave.
NOTE: Meeting subject to cancellation if no proposals are submitted.

Sunday, October 3 @ 10:00 am
Lucy Flower Park
Rockwell & Moffat

Tuesday, October 21 @ 7:00 pm
Our first book is "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. For the meeting location, email

WBNA is the catalyst for positive change in West Bucktown. We serve the neighborhood bounded by West of Western, East of California, North of North Avenue and South of Armitage.

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