CHICAGO — A developer and Ald. John Arena (45th) have come together on a plan to build a drive-thru Starbucks coffee shop at 4151 N. Cicero Ave., along the northern edge of the Six Corners Shopping District, Arena’s staff said Wednesday.
After months of negotiations, the builder agreed to set the cafe directly against the street and to include a front patio large enough to hold a “public art feature” — both items Arena encouraged as a way to make the patio more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists, according to his chief of staff, Owen Brugh.
“As you get closer to Six Corners it’s much more of an urban streetscape, so we didn’t want a parking lot sitting there to address the street,” Brugh said. “While Cicero is a major thoroughfare, we also do want to include some element that makes it more inviting for people to walk over.”
The coffee shop is set for the east side of Cicero Avenue along Berteau Avenue, in what had been a satellite parking lot for Family Fruit Market, 4118 N. Cicero Ave., across the street. The market closed last year, and a Dollar Tree store replaced it in January.
The alderman would need to apply for a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals in order for the drive-thru to be cleared for construction. The plan doesn’t yet have a date with the board, but the alderman will “work to expedite the process,” Brugh said.
Another drive-thru Starbucks is being proposed a mile west of Six Corners, at the intersection of Irving Park Road and Central Avenue, and Ald. Nicholas Sposato (38th) has signaled the board will likely see that proposal this spring. But the plan has met resistance from some neighbors who say it could leech business from Portage Grounds, an independent coffee shop on the same block.