April 13, 2009
Committee rejects Sixth Street convenience and liquor store
A proposed convenience and liquor store on Sixth Street failed to win support of the City Council’s Public Safety and Licensing Committee.
Caroline Chun and her father applied for a license to sell alcohol in the former Horst Music Store at 420 Sixth St. The store, named Lakeside Pantry, would have been about 75 percent grocery items and 25 percent alcohol.
But the proposal met strong opposition from neighboring business owners. Several spoke Monday night and told the committee they’d support a convenience store, but not one that sells alcohol.
The Chuns tried to placate the opposition by agreeing not to sell single cans of beer, including malt liquor. But the gesture didn’t sway the committee, which voted unanimously against their proposal.
Michael Choi, who owns the restaurants Shogun and Asiana and helped open Olde Madrid, owns the building the Chuns wanted to use for the convenience and liquor store. Choi helped the Chuns addressed the committee, translating questions for them and answering some for them.
Aldermen Terry McCarthy, Aron Wisneski and Jim Kaplan spoke against the liquor store after about 20 minutes of questions about the business plan. The aldermen each said they felt the store selling alcohol on Sixth Street jeopardized an area that the city has worked hard to clean up in recent years.
“I am concerned this would create a lot of foot traffic in what is one of the major thoroughfares in and out of Downtown,” Wisneski said.
Kaplan said he supported 75 percent of the plan, but not the 25 percent involving alcohol. He added he couldn’t support the plan “knowing the history of Sixth Street.”
McCarthy said he was happy with the Chuns’ answers to the committee’s questions, but had to listen to the business owners’ concerns.
“I just have a hard time supporting a full liquor license in this area,” he said.