Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Uptown 7-Eleven Runaround

The Bench front page... CHICAGO - Dec. 3, 2008 - Uh oh. The new 7-Eleven store across from Truman College in the Uptown neighborhood is about to open, and they want to sell booze. Yes, booze, that which makes all the drunks in that neighborhood, well, drunk. Uptown already has more than its fair share of drunks staggering around, and the strip that the new 7-Eleven will be in is particularly seedy. Another liquor retailer there? Not a good idea. "Uptown residents have until December 5th to call or mail feedback to the City about the proposed liquor license for the 7-11 at 1138 West Wilson Avenue," according to Uptown Update. Go read that, then come on back here for a few tips from The Bench on what to expect and what not to expect. You see, The Bench helped defeat a 7-Eleven liquor license request in Rogers Park in October, 2007. We have two videos and some reportage from that episode below. This time, in Uptown, it would seem that 7-Eleven learned from their Rogers Park defeat. For one thing, it seems that this time they waited until the last minute to file their request, and did it at a time when many people would be distracted by Thanksgiving holiday plans. Sneaky. Do not expect the 7-Eleven reps to cooperate. Rather, they will try to wow you with diversionary nonsense about the "freshness" of their food, the wonders of convenience shopping, and the altruistic virtues of higher revenues from booze making it possible for the store to have more employees on duty. That last point is a hoot: They paradoxically argued in Rogers Park last year that liquor sales revenue would allow the hiring of more employees, which would make the store safer. The paradox there is that if no liquor is there to lure the troublemakers in, there is no need for more employees "for security." Additionally, the added payroll would negate much of the added revenue. In other words, the 7-Eleven folks have a very weak argument in favor of liquor sales as regards community benefit. Flashback to October, 2007: Two videos of the community meeting on October 23, 2007. (Each is about 45 minutes; total is 90 minutes for both.) View Part One and View Part Two 7-11 Liquor License Battle Heats Up UPDATED: PETITION AGAINST 7-11 LIQUOR LICENSE Will 7-11 Endanger Children in Rogers Park?