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.