By Anna Lothson
The flame is going out at Smoker's Stop in Oak Park.
By Nov. 20 the shop at 6319 North Ave. will be forced to close its doors following an order from the village of Oak Park. Due to a variety of issues, the business had its license revoked.
Judith Alexander, co-founder of North Avenue Neighbors Association, said the neighbors received news of the closure via a letter from Oak Park Police Officer Anthony Coleman, the beat officer in the neighborhood.
Oak Park Police Chief Rick Tanksley met with neighbors in September about Smoker's Stop, which received multiple complaints regarding late-night noise and litter.
Police spent the past month examining the shop after reports from the Cook County Department of Revenue revealed the store has been selling cigarettes it purchased outside Cook County to avoid the county's taxes on cigarettes.
Smoker's Stop was cited by the county repeatedly for evading Cook County taxes by selling cigarettes purchased from places where taxes are cheaper.
The letter sent to residents thanked them for getting involved in the matter and informed them of the Nov. 20 date by which the shop must cease operations. The matter was also discussed at the Northwest Side Community Coalition meeting Tuesday, which was packed with both residents from Oak Park and the Galewood neighborhood of Chicago.
Neighbors had complained to the village about the Smoker's Stop and the constant loitering and late-night noise on the street associated with the business. Alexander said the late-night activity around the shop made neighbors nervous.
An administrative hearing recently was held before Oak Park Village Manager Cara Pavlicek and legal counsel. At that hearing, the village found sufficient evidence to revoke Smoker's Stop's business license, according to the memo sent to residents.