Tuesday, September 30, 2008

On the Pavement: The End of BYOB on 55th

posted by chicago pop


The timing couldn't be better: as the financial meltdown accelerates, Hyde Parkers may soon be able to to forget the plunging value of their 401(k)s by ordering a drink with their noodles at any of the restaurants on 55th Street between the Metra tracks and Cornell.

According to a notification sent to neighbors last week, MAC Properties is seeking a zoning change that would allow the restaurants on the 1601-1623 stretch of E. 55th to operate as "General Restaurants," thereby enabling them to obtain a city license to sell alcohol on their premises.

The idea, according to MAC representative Peter Cassel, is to make it possible for restaurants on this strip to sell higher-margin items, such as alcoholic beverages, in order to improve their income statements. Higher revenues would allow them to invest more in interior refurbishments and menu improvements.

The request for a zoning change was arrived at in discussion with the strip's businesses, who support the zoning change and the increased revenue it would allow: Morry's, Nile, Thai 55, Cafe Corea, and Kikuya.

The proposed change will be discussed at a community meeting at 6PM, Thursday, October 2, at 1621 E. 55th Street. Fifth Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston will be in attendance.


7 comments:

Greg said...

Nice. The 39th can crumble into oblivion while everyone else is having a cold Singha with their Pad Thai at Thai 55... and NOT at Medici.

David Farley said...

Wow - I can't wait to see the wine list at Morry's...

Raymond said...

Somewhere, someone is plotting another vote dry petition.

David Farley said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, and I know people will, but I believe that precinct is already dry. For instance, Cornell Liquors and Tiki were grandfathered in and their licenses couldn't be transferred when their respective owners decided to call it a day. I'm not sure how this new proposal works against all that. On the other hand, I notice The Snail isn't included - is the precinct border at Cornell? Orly's serves liquor, doesn't it? And Bar Louie, which postdates Tiki or Cornell Liquors.

One would wonder why the same wouldn't apply to the Medici, but I think the problem there is the Ray School. (Did anybody see the letters in the latest HP Herald - sounds like Hans is getting some instant karma...)

Greg said...

I think it's a Mac Properties/Antheus proposal and Mac only owns the building West of Cornell. The one that The Snail operates from has a different owner. Also, I seem to recall that Siam already serves beer. The border must be Cornell.

Richard Gill said...

I believe it is a re-zoning request, to allow the restaurants to obtain "incidental" liquor licenses, so they can serve alcohol along with food. I'm not sure, but it seems that a meeting about "local option" would be a precinct-only meeting and would not be conducted by the Alderman.

chicago pop said...

Yeah, this is a proposed zoning change, that's all, for the restaurants on the block indicated (which MAC owns and where its neighborhood headquarters are).