Family Dollar stores seek liquor licenses in Joliet

Liquor would be a new twist for local dollar stores but liquor commissioner is against it

Family Dollar is seeking liquor licenses at two Joliet stores.

Packaged liquor would be a new product line for local dollar stores, which traditionally carry products priced close to a dollar. The request for liquor licenses in Joliet is coming at a time that Family Dollar has announced plans to close nearly 1,000 stores nationwide.

Mayor Terry D’Arcy, who is also the city’s liquor commissioner, is recommending that licenses sought by both Family Dollar stores be denied when the City Council votes Tuesday.

Family Dollar wants liquor licenses for its stores at 861 N. Larkin Ave. and 454 E. Cass St.

Both stores expected liquor sales, if allowed, would bring in 10% of gross revenue, according to the Liquor Commission reports.

The reports cited calls for police service at both locations in recommending denial of the licenses.

The Cass Street store in the past 12 months had 219 calls for police service, “including several serious crimes,” according to the report.

The Larkin Avenue store in the past 12 months had 104 calls for police service, also “including several serious crimes,” according to the report.

Liquor sales “would exacerbate existing law enforcement problems in this area,” according to the report.

Dollar Tree, Inc., which owns both Family Dollar and Dollar Tree stores, last week announced plans to close 600 Family Dollar stores in the coming year and another 370 over the next several years. Another 30 Dollar Tree stores will close as their leases expire.