Target seeking liquor license

Target announced a Nov. 6 opening date for its store in the VUE53 building on 53rd Street. (Marc)
Target announced a Nov. 6 opening date for its store in the VUE53 building on 53rd Street.

Marc Monaghan


Staff Writer

The new Target that opens on Nov. 6 at 1330 E. 53rd St., applied for a liquor license to sell alcoholic merchandise on Sept. 13.

According to the City of Chicago, a business has 35 days after the application is filed for public comment. Tuesday, Oct. 18, was the 35th day, yet, according to Stephanie Franklin, the president of Nichols Park Advisory Council, none of the residents she’s spoken to, who live within 250 feet of Target, received notification about the retail store’s plans to apply for the liquor license.

Target did not hold a community meeting regarding the license but members of the Nichols Park Advisory Council (NPAC) were informed about Target’s plan and voted unanimously against it during its October meeting.

“There is a city ordinance that says liquor cannot be sold within 100 feet of schools,” said Stephanie Franklin, the president of NPAC.

Franklin said the Chicago Public Schools Board of Education owns the property that includes Murray Elementary School and the Nichols Park fieldhouse.

Both Murray, 5335 S. Kenwood Ave., and Nichols, 1355 E. 53rd St., are across the street from Target.

According to the City of Chicago ordinance, “licenses for the retail sale of alcoholic liquor will not be issued for establishments within 100 feet of any church (some exceptions to this rule exist pertaining to locations near churches), school (other than an institution of higher learning), hospital, or home for the aged or indigent.”

Ald. Sophia King (4th) has also opposed Target’s plan to obtain a liquor license, having sponsored an ordinance in a September City Council meeting that would “disallow additional package goods licenses on portion(s) of E. 53rd St.,” as a move against Target acquiring a liquor license.

The ordinance reads, “The City Council finds that the areas described in Section 2 of this ordinance are aversely affected by the over-concentration of businesses licensed to sell alcoholic liquor within and near the areas.”

As of Sept. 28, the ordinance was held in the Committee on License and Consumer Protection.

Based on the steps for a liquor license application process in the City of Chicago, a decision on the license has to be made within a maximum of 60 days after the application.

Target wants to make it clear that it has requested a liquor license to sell the product from its store shelves, not a liquor license that would allow customers to drink alcohol in the store, said Target Spokeswoman Kristy Welker in a written statement.

“We expect to receive the license from the city within a few days,” Welker said. “Target will then apply for the state license.”