March 18, 2009

Suds to ... suds on Sixth Street

It didn't take long for someone to snatch up 420 Sixth St. after a proposed laundromat fell flat. Instead of pushing laundry suds, a new business owner may be pushing the other kind of suds - beer (and wine and liquor).

Caroline Chun, of Lakeside Liquor, wants to open a new store in the former Horst Music Store. Her application for a "Class A" license is pending before the City Council's Public Safety and Licensing Committee. The committee will take it up at its March 23 meeting.

It'll be an interesting issue for the committee, which at the same meeting it takes up Chun's request will try to crack down on new liquor stores in the city. The committee wants to limit the number of liquor stores in Racine to a number less than presently exist. That means three existing business with "Class A" licenses would have to close before someone like Chun could apply for a new license.

But, the new ordinance isn't in effect yet. It hasn't even been approved. So the committee will have to consider Chun's request to open a liquor store in the heart of the key downtown thoroughfare.

Click here to see the committee's March 23 agenda.


  1. downtown_racine3/18/2009 4:05 PM

    Wow it sure sold fast, NOT. lol

    The liquor store sounds like another dead horse for many reasons.

    Fifedom city clownsil, one jesus nut clowncilman blames alcohol for the bad things people do while drunk.
    Another clowncil member (probably more than 1 or 3) like to assert their massive power and clout in the process.

    Bad fit for da neighborhood doncha know ?
    America's least wanted will stragle in for a 4 pack of steel reserve or more of and alcohol is responsible for all the ills in the world. Unless of course your a friend, crony or clout carrying individual (read:money) and your selling wine or running a tavvie.

    Store would not be able to survive strictly on liquor/cigar-cigarette/lotto sales and would have to sell other foodstuff and general merchandise. Which may or may not be allowed.
    I would love to see a convenient type store in there myself, I ain't got a whole lot of use for a liquor store. I got 0 use for a laundromat which was the dumbest idea I ever heard for that location, I'm glad the laundromat idea is dead.

  2. Pick the top three questions that will be asked:

    A. How many jobs will this create?
    B. How much will this person pay in taxes each year?
    C. How much green space does this person propose as part of the building renovation?
    D. How many solar panels will this person install?
    E. Will this person commit to city directives on climate change and the dangers of rising or falling water levels in nearby Lake Michigan?

  3. F. How does this make 6th street an already blighted street look? Better? Worse?

    And if you don't think 6th already looks like the ghetto please wake up. What would be worse? A laundramat.

  4. No tickee, no washee3/19/2009 7:51 AM

    I'd like to see the proposed liquor store add a "payday" loan service, pawn service, and sell single ciggies, too. Maybe sell some baseball caps and baggy jeans, too, while they are at it. But above not let them put in a washing machine!

  5. How cute. The ever petulant sixth street crowd is pouting because their laundromat cannot afford to open. Now, they are striking back with a liquor store application. They will gripe when that is turned down.

  6. Perhaps if Chun would commit to offering a more varied selection. I think liquor, tobacco, snacks, loans store with check cashing and money transfers to Mexico along with a good selection of adult books and videos would make a great addition!
    I'd like to rent some space in there for my new gun, knife and brass knuckle store, too!

  7. concrete katie3/19/2009 9:42 AM

    Blighted area? Then why are buildings on Sixth Street assessed higher than comparable buildings on Main Street? Blighted? Then give us some of the city sewer dollars for blighted know like the State and Main building got for clean up. I remember being told numerous times that Sixth Street could not have this or that because "our buildings are worth less than those on Main Street." So why are we paying more in taxes. Why do we pay for events that we are excluded from. In fact, why do we pay anything at all. Anyone who owns a building on Sixth Street or tries to open a business is taking a huge risk. A grocery-convenience store? Wow, would I like to once again be able to pick up milk, bread, etc. downtown without getting into the car. It could be both a day and night business which IMHO is better than a vacant storefront. Michael Choi, the building owner, has done much for the street and the downtown by investing here. He is a smart, thoughtful business owner. Building owners need tenants not obstacles. I also think a laundromat would have been great for the same reasons as a convenience store. We don't have one and it is practical and sustainable and residents need both.

  8. Urban Pioneer3/19/2009 10:14 AM

    I agree with Concrete Katie on this one.
    As a downtown resident and shop owner I would very interested in a nice classy Wine and Liquor store in this location. Perhaps with a few "grocery" items included in the mix. If Ms. Chun keeps it upscale it would be a great addition to the community. I was OK with the Laundromat too. But I would get much more use from a fine liquor and cigar store.. I would definitely keep the Wine selection a focus, to encourage the best clientele. I would also keep the prices just a little above average. The pubs and taverns that charge slightly higher prices seem to attract a more upscale customer.
    I'll be checking out Ms. Chun's other location to see how that site is presented. In an economy like we face today, to see someone wanting to open a new store in the city is great!

  9. Nice classy liquor store? Are they ready to compete with Uncorked? Is there enough room downtown for two classy wine and liquor stores? Or a "convenient" store that carries products of all types, liquor, wine, snacks, beer of all price ranges, cigarettes, etc. It's a big space. Hello? Anyone alive out there?

    This is a classic battle in the making.

  10. The issue that 6th st has IMHO is the DRC you know the Whites only for downtown group.
    Yes I feel that the DRC hates 6th st but sure like the money they get to mange bid #1!