ST. CHARLES – A city committee Monday could not get behind a drive-thru grocery for the west side because of its proposed liquor sales.
The Government Services Committee voted 7-1 in favor of denying a Class A liquor license to a proposed drive-thru grocery store. First Ward Alderman Ronald Silkaitus was the lone member to vote against the denial, and Dan Stellato, the other First Ward alderman, recused himself from the discussion and vote.
Peter Bogle, the local businessman who founded the LLC group behind the grocery store, was disappointed with the committee’s vote.
“We want [St. Charles] to be a city that’s leading, not following,” Bogle said after he left the meeting. “Another city is going to get it, and St. Charles is going to miss out.”
Bogle wanted to open the store at 2071 Route 38 near the southeast corner of Randall Road and Route 38 in the former Quick Lube location. He estimated that 50 percent of sales would be food and the other 50 percent would be beer and wine.
The alcohol sales were a deal breaker for many of the alderman on the committee, including Fifth Ward Alderman Maureen Lewis.
“I don’t think liquor needs to be made convenient,” Lewis said.
Lewis noted that alderman were not supportive in initial discussions for a proposed drive-thru for the Lundeen’s Liquor express location, 1315 W. Main St. She also was concerned that the success of the store was going to rely heavily on receiving a liquor license.
Bogle said beer and wine sales would help the store get a quicker return on the store investment.
Three other people spoke besides Bogle before the committee voted, including St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina. He reminded people that the west side of St. Charles has inactive buildings, which is something he also mentioned in February when the city’s Liquor Control Commission discussed the drive-thru store.
“What are we doing about filling empty spaces?” Rogina said.