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Joliet decides Jefferson Street wrong spot for liquor store

Joliet officials rejected a plan to put a liquor store into this space at 2155 W. Jefferson St.
Joliet officials rejected a plan to put a liquor store into this space at 2155 W. Jefferson St.

JOLIET – The city turned down a Jefferson Street location for a 12,000-square-foot liquor store, but Mayor Bob O’Dekirk said he hopes to help find a another spot for the business.

O’Dekirk, also the city’s liquor commissioner, recommended a denial of the liquor license sought for a store to be called Joliet Market at 2155 W. Jefferson St.

The location is in a strip mall near Hammes Avenue that also contains a cash loan store and a rental business.

“I don’t think it’s the right spot,” O’Dekirk said during a city council workshop in which the plan was discussed.

O’Dekirk compared the Joliet Market store concept to Binny’s Beverage Depot, the chain of liquor superstores in the Chicago area.

“My hope is they can work with city staff to find another location,” the mayor said.

The plan had faced opposition at a liquor commission hearing from Sidelines Sports Bar and Basinger’s Pharmacy, both of which are located across Jefferson Street in the Marycrest Shopping Center.

Basinger’s plans to move to the other side of Jefferson Street and tear down the Senor Tequila at 2219 W. Jefferson St. Basinger’s plan is to construct a 13,746-square-foot store that would include liquor sales.

A representative from Basinger’s said at a liquor commission hearing that the construction plans would stop if Joliet Market got a liquor license.

“So, we’re against competition?” City Council member Pat Mudron asked at the City Council workshop meeting on Monday.

Mudron was the lone opposition when the City Council voted, 7-1, on Tuesday to deny the license.

Deputy Liquor Commissioner Jim O’Connell said the recommendation for a denial was primarily based on the number of liquor licenses in the vicinity.

There are 20 liquor licenses within a 1-mile radius of 2155 W. Jefferson St., according to a liquor commission report on the matter that recommended denial based on “the saturation of liquor licenses in the vicinity ... as well as the negative impact on development.”

While Mudron was the only no vote on the liquor license denial, council member Michael Turk did question the future of the Basinger’s plan.

“I’ve been hearing for two years that they were going to level the old Senor Tequila’s and go in there,” Turk said.

The City Council approved a liquor license for the future Basinger’s store in March. The city’s zoning board in September approved zoning variations allowing less landscaping and parking in the plan.

The applicants seeking the Joliet Market liquor license did not speak at the City Council meetings. The liquor commission report listed them as Thaer Jbara, Kenjal Patel and Silken Patel.

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