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Wal-Mart fights city denial of liquor license for River North store


Updated: March 13, 2013 7:53PM

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has asked the Cook County courts to overturn the City of Chicago’s refusal to give it a liquor license for a store in River North.

The city has denied the license for a Walmart Express at 225 W. Chicago. Wal-Mart’s complaint, filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court, said the Local Liquor Control Commission decided in 2011 that selling alcohol at the location “would tend to create a law enforcement problem.”

The retailer filed suit after getting no satisfaction from the city’s appeal process for license issues.

“We think we’re on the right side of this issue,” said Steve Restivo, a spokesman for Wal-Mart. “There are others just a block or two from our store — including a Walgreens — selling alcohol.

“We’ve proven to be a responsible operator in the areas of the city where we sell alcohol like Chatham, Wrigleyville, Lake View, Back of the Yards and Little Village.”

The River North store was in the old 42nd Ward of Ald. Brendan Reilly, who opposed the license. Reilly did not return calls Wednesday.

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