Beer good. Dollar stores bad

Opinion: Editorials

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By Editorial

We've known for some while that if a person wants to run down Oak Park's retail prospects they invoke the specter of a dollar store. "The old Walgreens will probably end up a dollar store," we hear regularly.

So if you don't like dollar stores, what sort of business do you want in Oak Park? The village has paid consultants plenty to answer that query. We think we found out this weekend and the answer is free. On Friday, we posted a story at about a local guy, Brian Keyes by name, who is exploring opening a microbrewery in Oak Park.

Twenty-one beer-quaffing, wholly enthusiastic reader comments later, we declare the market research done. Oak Parkers are thirsty for a microbrewery. And, they told us, they prefer such a trendy, upscale business to either dollar stores or nail spas. Our readers even suggested specific locations, and we have to say the old and long-abandoned juice factory on Harrison Street might just fit the edgy, factory-modern look we've seen in businesses like this.

Keyes' declaration that he is exploring opening his Off Key Brewing in his hometown comes at an apropos moment. First, Village Manager Tom Barwin has been publicly lusting after a microbrewery for more than a year (and two of our commenters identified themselves as current village board members). Second, within weeks, the village's Liquor Control Review Board is forwarding its recommendations to the village board on ways to loosen up (and streamline) the village's liquor ordinance.

We've been encouraging the commission and the board to push the limits here and to actively create an ordinance that would welcome both a brewery and also a high-end packaged goods store. There are ways to write this ordinance that would make plain the type of business we are looking to attract. Reality is that Oak Park is not known as a simple place to open a business. Start from the position that a unique liquor license has to be crafted by a commission and then OK'd by the village board before you open. Well, a lot of entrepreneurs will simply look at the next town.

The reality is that alcohol is a key driver of economic development in Oak Park. It has been for four decades. Let's be pro-active here.

Reader Comments

47 Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy


Posted: May 18th, 2011 6:15 PM

I've been hijacked too.


Posted: May 18th, 2011 1:59 PM

The best carpenters make the fewest chips.

OP, O......P, OP Resident,   

Posted: May 18th, 2011 1:11 PM

I've been hijacked so most of these absurd off the wall comments are not I. I read the comments policy and am not sure why this can happen. I am not perfect.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 1:24 PM

I too am growing tired of the OP vs OP Resident feud. OP seems intent on controlling the conversation and stifling an open exchange of ideas.


Posted: May 17th, 2011 12:32 PM

Today is a full moon, all the crazies are out. This person is the perfect example why it should not be low income, but more on the line for the disabled.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 11:54 AM

Good Lord. Trying to introduce such confusion into a grown up conversation is just weakening your team's argument OP! Interfaith! He's killing you here - reign him in.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 11:07 AM

How come you didnt introduce yourself to me? I dont know what you look like and have never met you.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 10:58 AM

John and Patricia, The scam is continuing this morning. "OP" is still at it. I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to convince "OP" to stop the charade. Too much space is being wasted on this fool.I did watch the meeting on TV6 and enjoyed your comments. My advice is that you refrain from responding to any "OP Resident" comments until "OP" finds a new target to harrass. We are dealing with a troubled individual.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 10:16 AM

Just waiting

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 9:34 AM

OP Resident, I'm disappointed you didn't introduce yourself last night!

OP Resident  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 9:10 AM

Scary is an understatement. What were we thinking?

john murtagh from oak park  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 2:38 AM

OP Res I think you are right. OP is scary. I saw him tonight at board meeting and he was not smiling, was acting grumpy, and was making eye contact with himself!

OP Resident  

Posted: May 17th, 2011 1:23 AM

You should be a little different than OP Resident like me. Try O-P Resident?

OP Resident  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 6:44 PM

That's not true. You have posted under a variety of dubs and falsely used other's names. The fact remains that you are unable to conduct yourself in an appropriate manner and have launched mean spirited attacks against anyone who dares to challenges you. Name calling, lying and outright fabrication of the facts has been your standard as long as I've been part of this forum. I know you've been painted into a corner as a result of your latest stunt. But, it's time to come clean and stop the abuse.


Posted: May 16th, 2011 6:14 PM

Someone took OP so I had to change mine too. Look forward to this issue being O V A ! !

OP Resident  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 5:39 PM

It's obvious that "OP" is delusional and irrational. This ongoing attempt to confuse and deceive readers demonstrates a disconnect from reality. "OP" has never been unable to generate any support or agreement for the positions that have been posted by "OP", "POM" or most recently, "OP Resident". "OP" has employed these tactics in the past but now seems to be out of control. Notice how "OP" switches back and forth from "OP Resident" to the lastest incarnation as "O....P". Hopelessly lost in a fog

OP Resident  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 5:04 PM

Sorry to hear that Marco. They do have meds for that. I will take that into account regarding your irrational posts.


Posted: May 16th, 2011 4:46 PM

Can you say bi-polar


Posted: May 16th, 2011 4:26 PM

Chris, You have nothing to worry about, I am not stalking you or would ever consider such a thing. We've all had issues in our immediate neighborhoods and they are passionate to each of us. If you think this forum is crazy, try reading the Trib's comment sections. SCARY.


Posted: May 16th, 2011 4:23 PM

O'Shea, we will agree to disagree on your statement:"It has been 100% on the up and up and has never been intended to mislead, confuse, or misinform." Whether it was meant to be or not, IT DID. Maybe it wasnt intentional, but it came across that way. From the start I've been the defense against all nonsense from the opponents. Thats just my term.


Posted: May 16th, 2011 4:23 PM

Not if they don't have cars.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 4:20 PM

Another FYI, I cant imagine criminals committing crimes within a block radius of their homes. If you ever read the blotter, these criminals travel far lengths to commit their crimes. Every so often you read about a local, but not to often.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 4:18 PM

Marco, you've said some offensive stereotypical things that dont help anything but fuel the problems. I will live like all of us in this Village with the decision made and I'm certain it will be ok.


Posted: May 16th, 2011 4:07 PM

I am obviously not Patricia. She has shown nothing but class and integrity on this forum. Trying to be patient with your crazy claims and statement only to rebut with facts. I decided to state exactly what people really want to say to you. When this passes, I'm the one who gets to deal with this crap every day. Guess what. I'm very angry about it.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 4:05 PM

@Arnold: LOL, I could use a good beer right about now!!!

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 4:02 PM

OP, there is nothing I have stated here that hasn't been true and well researched (e.g. OPHA has said mulitple times we need senior housing as a first priority), real curiousity (Mark Benson), or an opinion (The interfaith buildings are more like hospitals or dorms than apartment buildings). It has been 100% on the up and up and has never been intended to mislead, confuse, or misinform. Can you say the same?

OP Resident  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 4:01 PM

The anger and frustation is escalating. "OP" has always used this forum to bully and intimidate but without success. "OP" desperately wants someone to agree with "OP". No one has and that has got to be eating "OP" up inside. The fact that personal information has been obtained by "OP" increases the potential for more reckless behavior. It's time someone intervened.

Arnold Friend  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 3:58 PM

So how about that microbrewery? Sounds like a good idea to me!

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 3:55 PM

OP: As I stated, I agree that you've done nothing illegal. In my opinion you have still crossed a line. I'm hopeful that you are a bit nosy but that your intentions are ultimately harmless. Your prior note was not exactly reassuring. I *was* comfortable posting with my real name with the belief that this was a constructive, although heated, debate among neighbors. Perhaps I'm too trusting.


Posted: May 16th, 2011 3:52 PM

O'Shea, As far as I know I have stuck with it with you. I do get upset when I see unproven allegations and inferences made in which people can not prove.... being made by yourself. I will use "other" descriptions in those circumstances.


Posted: May 16th, 2011 3:48 PM

Chris, They know who I am and my phone number. I have done nothing illegal or as BAD as you "infer"- Your favorite thing to do. I think the Comcast project has taken its toll. The last I saw, had 350,000 hits. Congrats to them and continue to sell that ad space.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 3:47 PM

I have no agreement with Marco to not name call and be condescending. What he does is his call. I thought I had an agreement with you and I'm calling out that you are not sticking to it.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 3:39 PM

To the Editors: I hope you are seeing this and realize the need to change to a login required forum so you can easily people who write posts like this down.


Posted: May 16th, 2011 3:33 PM

I find it funny that O'Shea has no words to describe Sharcos comments. Could O'Shea be Marco? ? ? ?


Posted: May 16th, 2011 3:29 PM

Chris its called the age of the internet. Did you see the tie in to the kids question ? Again making ASSUMPTIONS based on nothing. You are the person who says how useful it is to post with YOUR REAL NAME. Not so much for me.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 3:24 PM

OP: Not sure why you've felt it necessary to pull up my personal information and then publish reference to it on this website, but be aware that the police can track you down via your IP address. First you ask if I have kids, then you admit to pulling up my address. At this moment you've done nothing illegal but you're headed in a bad, bad direction.


Posted: May 16th, 2011 3:22 PM is how I found out the vicinity of where you live in relation to the Comcast project.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 3:19 PM

Sharco = name calling/playing with people's names


Posted: May 16th, 2011 3:18 PM

We would thive even better without low income nut jobs like you.

OP Resident  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 3:10 PM

Sharco, Dont let the gates hit you know where! We will thrive so much more w / out your types.


Posted: May 16th, 2011 2:42 PM

And OP also claims to have lived in low income housing. Heres your new neighbors. Can't wait to get out of this town!

OP Resident  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 2:36 PM

Chris, I would be careful dealing with "OP". We are dealing with a very troubled individual. I'm not sure you can trust that "OP" would not resort to actually stalking you. "OP" strikes back at anyone who poses a differing opinion and will employ bulying tactics when frustrated. "OP" demonstrates an abusive personality towards people who disagree or disputes "OP" facts. There is certainly something pathological in this type of behavour. Imagine the misery and chaos this must bring to the home.

Patricia O'Shea  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 2:34 PM

It wouldn't be the first time OP cyberstalked.

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 2:22 PM

OP - it's called sarcasm. And how would you know where I live? I've never posted that information here and have an unlisted number. Do I have a cyber stalker?


Posted: May 16th, 2011 1:56 PM

Because there is someone in the process of buying it( if they havent already bought it) to put a low income apartments for Oak Parker's there. Chris you live a block away and are very against the project. Is that why you act like you didnt know that?

Chris Koertge from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 1:33 PM

There's a architecturally important building for sale on the NW corner of Oak Park Avenue and Madison. I'm told it could be beautiful and very, very green if someone were to rehab it. Why not put it there?

OP citizen who goes elsewhere  

Posted: May 16th, 2011 1:20 PM

Interesting article. My husband and I have this conversation often. We rarely ever dine out at Oak Park restaurants. I wish they would use the old Walgreens lot for something like a Hooters, Texas Roadhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings, or some other chain. It seems that OP has so many independent store, but not enough name brand. That's my two cents anyway.

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2017

To view the full print edition of the Wednesday Journal 2017 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Oak Park and River Forest.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad