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Walgreens Asks to Sell Hard Liquor at Both Darien Locations

An ordinance amending the City Code to expand the number of Class A licenses appears on Tuesday's City Council meeting consent agenda.

Darien residents could soon have two more places to buy their booze.

Both Walgreens locations in Darien have applied for a Class A liquor license that would allow them to sell bottles of hard alcohol, such as vodka and rum. The stores are already permitted to sell packaged beer and wine.

An amendment to the City Code raising the number of Class A licenses in Darien from eight to 10 is on the consent agenda for Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Walgreens received an “overwhelming” number of requests for spirits in a recent survey, wrote the chain’s license specialist Laura Milowski in a letter to the city.

Mayor Kathleen Weaver said at the Feb. 13 Administrative/Finance Committee meeting that she supported the change.

“I didn’t have a problem with this one because if you remember, Walgreens used to sell packaged hard liquor," Weaver said. "It was company policy to get away from that.” Weaver recently rejected an application from the Circle K gas station convenience store to sell hard alcohol. 

Ward 2 Alderman Tina Beilke asked whether there was any concern that increasing the number of liquor licenses would lead to the perception that the area has gone downhill.

“When you have a corporation selling liquor, their reputation is behind it, so it takes the heat off Darien,” Ward 1 Alderman Ted Schauer said.

City Council will also be voting to lower by two the available number of Class E liquor licenses, which allow businesses to sell beer and wine only.

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