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Walgreens Proposed at UBAA Tap Site; Developers Rejected Tilted Kilt

UBAA Tap will most likely be redeveloped into another Walgreens. The property sits on the Evanston-Skokie border and might have been a Tilted Kilt or even McDonalds, according to the developer.

A Walgreens store could be moving in to the former site of UBAA Tap at 9956 Crawford Ave. in Skokie, after developers turned down offers from several other tenants including Tilted Kilt, a Hooter's like bar and restaurant chain.

UBAA Tap - also formerly known as UBAA Old Crawford Inn - first opened its doors in 1939. Patch food critic Bill Burman described the restaurant by saying, "stopping in here is like paying a visit to your grandmother, if she were the type to cook you up some strong wings, put the game on for you and pour you a beer."

The restaurant closed its doors around October of last year, and has been on the market for development ever since. The location sits across the street from Evanston homeowners on Crawford Avenue and a large condo complex to the north.

While developers are currently seeking approval for a Walgreen's store from the village of Skokie, the property could have been something entirely different, according to developer Scott Gendell, president of Terraco Real Estate Development and Management.

"We fielded offers from bars like The Tilted Kilt or Twin Peaks," Gendell said. "McDonald's was interested, too. But in the end we thought the best thing for the community was a Walgreens.

"The [current] building is fundamentally obsolete," he added.

As it stand right now, the former UBAA Tap is vacant, as are two other store fronts attached to the building. The only remaining business is Dallia Floor and Wall Co., which will be moving to a new location near Golf Road and Crawford Avenue. Otherwise, the vacant property isn't generating any tax revenue for Skokie.

What Skokie residents are saying -

Meanwhile, residents that live nearby have mixed feelings about the proposed Walgreens.

Peter Kim, 69, said the building is an eyesore and welcomes the new development.

"I think it's a good idea," Kim said. "Skokie is an old town. It will be better for the community."

If the development goes through, however, Walgreens will purchase Kim's home for an undisclosed amount and tear it down for their own development. The drugstore did something similar when it recently built its "flagship" store at Dempster Street and Crawford Avenue less than a year ago.

Other nearby Skokie residents, however, are not so thrilled about the decision. Cindy Latin, who has lived down the street from UBAA for nearly 25 years, noted that there's already a CVS drugstore two blocks away at Crawford Avenue and Central Street.

"Why do we need another Walgreens?" Latin asked. "How many pharmacies does a community need? I know a lot [of my neighbors] aren't happy about this. Our quiet street is going to have cars flying through it now."

About one block away from the proposed site is Highland Elementary School. Latin  said some parents are concerned about the traffic the pharmacy giant will bring to the area.

Neighboring Evanston -

Alderman Mark Tendam (6th Ward) said a lot of his constituents have concerns about the proposed site.

"The way the property is situated, there's certainly going to be an impact on Evanston residents," he said. "I know there are concerns about the hours, about liquor sales ... I know there are already two other liquor stores in that stretch of Old Orchard Road, so I don't know how much booze we need in that stretch."

Walgreens is currently seeking a liquor license from the village of Skokie, and the site of the proposed store sits directly across from Toni's Liquors, which has been a Skokie establishment for several decades. One employee said he isn't concerned about the competition.

"It would be like comparing apples to oranges," the employee said about the selection of liquor the two stores will offer. "We're not the slightest concerned."

Upcoming meeting -

The Village of Skokie Plan Commission will be holding a meeting on Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. to discuss the new Walgreens. The meeting will be held at Skokie Village Hall, 5127 Oakton St., and is open to the public.

kathleen December 06, 2012 at 01:47 AM
Skokie does NOT need another Walgreens! Resturants good food, nice ambiance, that's what brings money and people to our town!!! NO MORE WALGREENS!
Leanna December 06, 2012 at 06:21 PM
I have wondered, with amusement, when all this "We're going to revitalize SKokie" stuff was going to happen, and I'm still waiting. Downtown Skokie is a mess and looks like East. L.A. Yes, yes, pretty train station. Woohoo. So where are all the incredible shops and cutting edge places to eat, play or even read? They aren't there. Now we have yet another Walgreens going in? What corner in Skokie isn't a bank, a drug store or an eyebrow threading/nail salon? The new Walgreens at Crowford and Dempster is a nightmare, not only to shop in but to try to drive past or get into. The Oberweiss place makes one huge traffic jam in an already jammed area. There is exactly ONE place to go sit down and eat in Skokie: Sander's. And maybe Dengeos way on the other end of town. When oh when is SKokie going to get with the times, get some things to DO and GO to and draw some people, interest, night life and be a town you come TO rather than leave to go find what you want to do?
Karen Anderson-Lee December 06, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Let me read this right - no one wants a Walgreens here. It will impact traffic in Skokie and Evanston. They will be able to sell liquor and there is already an established Skokie wine/liquor store right, paying taxes to Skokie all these years - even though there are already liquor stores in that area. This site is also one block from a school (didn't we just get slammed with a 25 MPH speed limit on Main street because there are 2 schools a mile from each other?) So, like Walmart, Walgreens just seems to point and say "We want that" and they get it? I see a lot of negative impact if a Walgreens goes in here, and they run Walmart out of town for less. Who is making the decision that "this is best for Skokie"? From what I read, NO ONE wants another eyesroe Walgreens, the traffic, the alcohol sales. Do you just sell our communitiy to the highest biddder? How about a library, a restaurant, a commemorative park? Ubba is the oldest business/building in Skokie, historically, is it not?
overtheblueline December 09, 2012 at 05:50 PM
I personally wouldn't mind seeing some sort of a restaurant go into that space. I'm thinking of D'Agostino's or Suparossa/Biagio, something along those lines. That would likely require less space therefore not requiring the tearing down of any homes. At the same time, the busiest hours would be in the evening when the nearby school is already closed for the evening. Also, it would provide a place for the residents of the surrounding area(s) to get together and enjoy some good food/drinks. Maybe someone can pass the idea along to either the developers or one of the restaurant owners.
David Rubin December 11, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Furthermore, converting long time RESIDENTIAL property, on a residential street (Keystone), into commercial property, against the clear wishes of its own citizens, is shameful. Does Skokie care more about Walgreens than its own citizens? If you would like to join me in contesting this project, feel free to e-mail me: d-rubin@neiu.edu

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