Back in October, Brookfield trustees turned aside a pair of requests by local businesses for enhanced liquor licenses. Now, it appears the board may be softening its stance in at least one of those cases.
At the board’s Committee of the Whole meeting on March 13, trustees heard a plea from Bob Fakhouri, owner of Phoenix Liquors, 8814 Ogden Ave., to again consider granting him a Class 3 liquor license, which would enable him to sell a full range of alcoholic beverages. Currently, Fakhouri holds a Class 6 license, which allows the sale of beer and wine only.
In October 2005, Fakhouri appeared before the board for the same license. While Trustee Alan Dorobiala made a motion to create a new Class 3 license for the store, no one seconded the motion, killing it.
But at least two other trustees, Linda Stevanovich and Catherine Colgrass Edwards, appeared to throw their support behind Fakhouri’s latest request, which will be granted another vote at the board’s next meeting on March 27.
“I was originally against it,” Stevanovich said. “I thought the market was oversaturated. But he’s lost his competitive edge because of this. After reviewing this again, I’d be in favor of it.”
Edwards, meanwhile, said she was “impressed” by the store, saying that the store sells “top-shelf beer and wine. … If granted the opportunity, [Fakhouri] would also look to provide quality liquor.”
For his part, Fakhouri argued that the perception that the Brookfield liquor market is over-saturated was simply not true.
“People may say there are enough package goods stores in Brookfield,” Fakhouri said, “but other than CVS on Ogden Avenue, you have to go a mile-and-a-half east for the next location. Going westbound, there are none.”
Fakhouri noted that the village would benefit in greater sales tax receipts from the additional sales, and that his store had passed all random undercover underage sales stings.
Dorobiala, who made the October motion to create the license for Phoenix Liquors last October, reiterated his support for creating a new Class 3 license.
“I think it would be beneficial for the community on a tax basis,” Dorobiala said. “I feel [not granting the license] is a loss to him and the village.”
Meanwhile, the owner of a 47th Street convenience store also denied a full liquor license last October said he plans to reapply for a Class 3 liquor license as well.
Mohammad Akbar, owner of Brook Food and Liquor at 9016 47th St., requested a Class 3 license last fall, but his request failed to garner even a motion from village trustees when the board last took up the issue. Currently the store has a Class 6 beer and wine license.
Now that Fakhouri’s request is back in play, Akbar said he’s definitely interested in reapplying for the Class 3 license.
“Right now on the south side there is no liquor store,” Akbar said. “Number two, I’m the senior [business] here. I’ve been here seven years.”
Village President Michael Garvey at the March 13 board session expressed his belief that Akbar would be coming back before the board in light of its newfound support for a new license for Phoenix Liquors.