ST. CHARLES – Blue Goose Market has been given the green light to add a wine bar.
By a slim margin, aldermen at the Feb. 4 City Council meeting approved modifying the city’s ordinance to allow beer, wine and spirits to be sold and consumed in grocery stores. Because of the state’s provisions of not allowing alcohol to be consumed where merchandise is sold, the change would be limited to grocery stores only.
At the City Council’s Government Operations Committee meeting Jan. 22, aldermen had voted 4-3 to recommend the change. One of the aldermen voting “no” at that meeting, 1st Ward Alderman Ronald Silkaitis, had voiced concerns about customers being able to walk around a grocery store drinking alcohol.
Blue Goose Market is the only grocery store in St. Charles so far proposing a wine bar.
“I’m excited to move forward,” Blue Goose Market President and CEO Paul Lencioni said after the Feb. 4 City Council meeting. “I think it’s going to be spectacular for St. Charles. This is a new direction.”
He noted his proposal will not be the type of bar found in a restaurant.
“At no point is it going to be a bar where somebody sits down and has a couple of Manhattans,” Lencioni said. “That’s not the idea. It’s about food culture. It’s a cool way to show that food and wine are part of dinner culture. Almost all of us have a bottle of wine at Thanksgiving dinner. This will be a cultural extension at the Blue Goose.”
Lencioni said the wine bar would provide the opportunity for patrons to sit and enjoy a glass of wine at the wine bar or “take that wine bar experience and the glass of wine with them as they shop the retail floor of our store.”
“There’s not going to be a monster selection,” he said. “A lot of it’s just going to be giving the people the opportunity to see some of the things that we’re selling. It will be a way to try new things.”
Blue Goose also plans to sell alcohol on its patio during outdoor cookout/brat stand/food events.
“The request to sell alcohol for patio on-premise consumption would be contained to the hours of operation for a Blue Goose patio dining event, so any alcohol would be in supplement to a full menu food offering with sales occurring on the patio,” Lencioni said.
Employees would receive alcohol training and consumption would be confined to the area, Lencioni said. The store plans to start alcohol delivery soon after aldermen in October unanimously approved an ordinance allowing packaged liquor delivery as long as it adheres to all state statutes and city ordinances that apply to a liquor license in St. Charles.
Blue Goose is partnering with local company Errand Up for grocery delivery, including alcohol.