April 2010 Newsletter

Download the April newsletter as a PDF.


Greetings to all! I am writing this as a reminder which came from an earlier Board discussion. South Lakeview Neighbors is committed to build and galvanize relationships with our members, volunteers, business owners and those who contribute to make our neighborhood desirable, stronger and evolving.

I am requesting that we as an organization continue to think about those who have made such contributions to SLN. Perhaps a teacher, principal, business owner, member, officer or neighbor, and recognize that person or establishment at our annual meeting. Presently that meeting is scheduled for June. Should you know of such a person, or a contact for that person, please inform a Board member, officer or me (773.858.1592) so we can pursue.

I also want to remind everyone about Earth Day and how we can get involved with cleaning up our neighborhood. I have volunteers who can assist us; however, I need someone to coordinate this effort. We can address the playlots or designate blocks on certain streets. If any are interested, please contact me. Truly , Susan Radzinowicz

Meeting a Glance …

April 13, 2010

Location: Basement of St. Alphonsus Church
1429 W. Wellington

Agenda: 7:00 pm: Coffee & Cookies
7:30 pm: Meeting

1) U.S. Census Bureau – speaker
2) New Sidewalk Café Permits
A) Jack’s Bar & Grill
B) Patsy’s Bar & Grill – expansion
C) Macondo Coffee Shop
D) The Ashland Bar – expansion

3) 3000-3100 N. Southport – Future zoning issues general discussion


U.S. Census Bureau

We have all received our Census Forms. A speaker from the Bureau will give us insight as to why we should take the 10 minutes to fill it out.

New Sidewalk Café Permits

Alderman Waguespack’s office will forward all new permits to the neighborhood groups for approval. It is Spring so permit requests are in. On the agenda to present their plans are as follows:

Jack’s Bar & Grill and 404 Wine Bar located at 2856 N. Southport. Jack’s is submitting its plan from last year for a café on Southport side of business. The café will be located on the parkway that they patio bricked in last year. They will present specifics on times of operation.

Patsy’s Bar & Grill located at 2825 N. Lincoln Ave. Patsy’s has a café on Lincoln Ave. They would like to expand the length of the café. They will present specifics at the meeting.

Macondo Coffee located at 2965 N. Lincoln Ave. The owner wishes to set out a few tables and chairs at curbside for its coffee and food patrons. No alcohol is served at this site. The owner is also the owner of Las Tables.

The Ashland Bar located at 2824 N. Ashland Ave. The owner wishes to relocate the current sidewalk café to the curbside and expand it to accommodate additional seating. This establishment was recently purchased by the owners of the Grand River Bar & Grill on Lincoln Ave.

3000-3100 N. Southport – future zoning issues

The NDRC wishes to engage the membership and residents of these two blocks in a discussion of future zoning issues on these blocks. The blocks are currently zoned RT-3.0 which allows for the construction of single family homes only. Developers are inquiring as to possibly getting zoning changes to RT-4.0 for the purpose of building 3 or 6 unit condominiums. These two blocks are virgin and have been untouched by developers. The area will be flyered and your opinion is appreciated.


Neighborhood Bars-Deleterious Impact Public Nuisance Ordinance (a/k/a The Bad Bar Ordinance)

We love our bars in SLN. However, we are not interested in becoming the new Lincoln Ave. or the Southport Corridor where the interests of the bar owners has surpassed the lifestyles of the homeowners. The huge increase in outside partiers to our area is threatening our preferred urban environment.

Elizabeth Gomez, director of Business and Community Affairs for Alderman Waguespack’s office and Ms. Burnett- Whitaker from the City of Chicago Commission appeared before the membership to describe how this ordinance works.

Ms. Wittaker informed the group that there are two ways for a bar to lose their license. First and most serious is illegal activities, which could be serving minors, operating outside of legal hours, drug dealing on the premises or crimes committed in the bar or outside the bar such as patron fighting or gun-play, illegal happy hour specials or restaurants with liquor licenses operating as bars. The Bad Bar Ordinance is designed to address non-criminal issues arising from the operations of a bar, but issues that, nevertheless, negatively affect the surrounding neighborhood such as noise from the bar, noisy patrons outside the bar, fighting that spills to the street after patrons are evicted from the bar, trash issues, traffic issues and my favorite – vomiting.

Ms.Gomez let it be known, that any resident who is having trouble or has complaints about an establishment can contact the Alderman’s office to get help with confronting the bar owners with any issues. Any group of 5 or more residents who reside within 500 ft. of the bar may file a complaint to the Local Liquor Control Commissioner relating to the bars operations related to Nuisance activities. Though not necessary to start the process, but important are complaint calls to 911. The bar is brought before the Alderman, community members and the police to hear the complaints and give their rebuttal. After usually a minimum of 3 meetings, a plan of action is adopted to address the complaint issues. If the bar does not resolve these issues within a certain time frame, the process moves to Step 2. The community submits a Public Nuisance Petition in which 51% of the registered voters within 500 ft of the bar must sign. The petition is submitted to the City’s Department of Business Affairs. At this point, the bars liquor license is under review. Under the Ordinance, the bar can be fined, or have its’ license suspended. If continued disregard for solving the problems occurs, the bar can be closed. The Alderman’s office has found that if the owners know the neighborhood is serious, they will comply with terms of the plan. Ms. Gomez stressed how important it is for the community to keep involved as the owners can refute any evidence

Ms. Gomez offered that LaVida on the 1200 block of George St was recently closed as the owner could not comply with the neighbor’s demands under this Ordinance. Ms. Gomez summarized the information by stressing that 911, not 311, calls are important and that the community must work together and keep the pressure on the owners. For additional information call Ms. Gomez at Alderman Waguespack’s office at 773-248-1330 or email her at elizabeth@ward32.org.

Walgreens–commencing packaged liquor sales

Residents of SLN are tired of having to walk more than 100 yards to purchase liquor. Here comes Walgreens – The Pharmacy America Trusts to the rescue. Representing Walgreen’s to give us the good news was Walgreen’s Public Relations firm, the District Manager and the Store Manager. Walgreen’s has met with the Alderman and applied for a license to sell 6 packs and 12 packs of beer (no individual cans) and bottles of wine. They have no intention of selling hard liquor or any Bailey’s type liquor concoction. It will be a modest selection, though Walgreen’s does intend to have a fairly high-end selection of wines. The employees will have to undergo special training and all purchasers that look under the age of 40 must be carded, which means all SLN members can leave their ID’s at home. The proposal was met with nods of approval and vigorous applause from the membership.

1520 W. Diversey – Zoning Change

The developer of this property requested a zoning change from RT-3.4 to RT-4.0 in order to build a 3 unit condominium under the guidelines previously set by the SLN membership for the 1400-1500 blocks of Diversey. The proposal conformed to the requirements except for the additional of a garage deck. Discussion on the issue ensued, with the SLN memberships being strongly opposed to the garage deck as potentially noisy to surrounding neighbors, too close in proximity to the coach house on the adjoining property and an invasion of privacy to neighbors on each side and across the alley. The developer noted how the garage deck makes the units more marketable but this point was not received favorably by the membership. A hand vote was taken on the issues as presented. In favor (Yes) = 6, opposed (No) = 25. The developer and NDRC Chairman Joseph Semerling asked for a second vote excluding the garage deck. That vote was (Yes) = 26, (No) =1. The developer is still considering garage deck issue in their plans to proceed with the zoning change. The vote was forwarded to the Alderman’s office.


Alderman Waguespack 32nd Ward News

The Alderman needs volunteers to canvass streets of the 32nd Ward to report potholes, graffiti, trim trees, street lights out, etc. so they can be fixed. For more info contact Kerri Stojack at email=kstojack@cityofchicago.org or 773-248-1330.

Street Cleaning – The city recently released a sweeping schedule but it is no longer valid as the mayor’s office determined they were moving to a citywide grid system. Alderman Waguespack’s office is currently working on providing a new map and schedule.

Street Closures for Filming – The City Film Office has requested a full day closure of the Lincoln, Southport and Wellington intersection on a weekday. Specific dates are to be determined.

Call the Alderman’s office at 773-248-1330 or email his office at ward32.org to get his newsletter emailed directly to you.


Any members wishing to serve on the Nominating Committee to develop the slate for the next season, please leave a message for Bill Haderlein at 773-348-4516 (Chicagoland Deck) or email = chicagolanddeck@rcn.com. The Committee will meet on a date shortly after the April 9 membership meeting to present the slate at the May 11 meeting.

Any members who would like to serve as an officer or a director, please contact Bill Haderlein in the same manner. If you believe a member you know would be a qualified candidate, please contact us. This is a great chance for all to get involved in your neighborhood. ALL RESPONSES MUST BE RECEIVED by APRIL 13 – MIDNIGHT.

CAPS Meetings by Sam Samatas

  • Beat 1924: 3rd Wednesday of odd months at 6:30 pm, Lincoln/Belmont Library, 1659 W. Melrose. The next one is May 20th.
  • Beat 1932: 2nd Thursday of even months @ 7:00 pm, Illinois Masonic, 836 W. Wellington.


Garden Tips by Maureen “Dolly” Regan

Spring is here except it’s still cold. Are you ready for some more cleaning up? The daffodils and crocus are showing up. The tops of the tulips from bulbs from Amsterdam are also showing up. Prune summer-flowering shrubs and hedges mid-April. Spring-blooming shrubs such as forsythia should be pruned immediately after flowering. I’ve been collecting paper egg cartons to start my seedlings like tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers and hot peppers. Cut top of carton, put plastic in the bottom, mix miracle grow with potting soil, plant seed as directed and water. Put in large plastic bags and water every couple of days. Start planning your vegetable garden. Relocate tomatoes from last year’s placement. If you have any questions about native plants, stop in at the flower house in Lincoln Park. I’m sure they can answer your questions.

Garden Tips by Susan Radzinowicz

Trees and shrubs can be planted late in the month and fertilized. Cool annuals can be planted if no suggestion of serious frost. Start seeds indoors. Compost and prepare beds with compost for seasonal planting in May.

SLN – WEBSITE = www.slneighbors.org

Visit the site. It is a work in progress. Pictures and information to be added.


Fiorentino’s Cucina Italiana, 2901 N. Ashland, 773-244-3026

There’s no place like home or Fiorentino’s. That is what many folks who frequent this Italian eatery say. You are always warmly greeted by Frances Fiorentino and any of her family members upon walking through the door of this very popular Sicilian restaurant. Sometimes you may have to wait briefly to be seated and sip a glass of wine or cocktail at their back bar. Therefore, reservations are highly recommended. The wait is always well worth what is to follow: a relaxing, enjoyable evening that will be palate pleasing as well.

You will never go wrong with any menu choices at Fiorentino’s. Always try something from the special of the day, often prepared by Frances herself. Our entrees on this visit comprised of hearty fare since there was a chill in the spring night air. I enjoyed the Pappardelle alla Bolognese, wide pasta ribbons in a rich meat sauce. There was ample sauce for dipping crusty bread in. My dining partner had the Rigatoni alla Boscaiola, sweet Italian sausage and mushrooms in a creamy tomato herb sauce. Both equally delicious and served in large enough portions that lunch is taken care of the next day.

Fiorentino’s has an extensive wine list. We enjoyed a bottle of Primitivo red wine from Puglia this evening. The bottle prices are a deal on any evening; however, they have a ½ off wine special on Mondays. They do have a full compliment bar and feature special martinis on Wednesday evenings.

The service at Fiorentino’s is comparable to a fine upscale dining restaurant, although business casual is worn and not so upscale prices are charged. Their year-round outdoor piazza is the best place to sit for a quiet warm evening, no matter what time of year!

The first time I reviewed Fiorentino’s, almost four years ago, they had just opened their doors. I remember meeting Frances on the street in front of her restaurant. As she proudly promised then, Frances and her family have brought the warmth and good taste of Sicily to our neighborhood and enriched our lives and palates over the past four years. This is a true treasure for dining in our neighborhood.