- As Mayor Rahm Emanuel faced a 2012 spike in homicides a year after he took office, he called problem liquor stores magnets for crime and a "cancer on the community," vowing to find new ways to shut them down.
A few months later, however, his administration approved a special late-night liquor license for a dilapidated liquor store in Austin known as "Da Icehouse," allowing it to extend its closing time from 2 a.m. to as late as 5 a.m. in one of the city's poorest, most violence-plagued neighborhoods.
Out of hundreds of liquor retailers in the city of Chicago, Da Icehouse is the only stand-alone liquor store that holds a late-night license, according to city officials.
Although the store near the corner of Lake Street and Cicero Avenue had been the scene of violence and liquor license violations in the past — usually red flags for such applications — City Hall received scant resistance to the extended license from the then-local police commander, or the neighborhood's alderman, Jason Ervin.
In fact, the freshman alderman was beginning to receive campaign contributions from the store's owners.
Contributions to the tune of $27,000....and homicides to the count of three, shootings and armed robberies in the dozens, including by "security" working the
tip parking lot. But hey, after Ervin was closely associated with a string of dope houses in Maywood - why is anyone surprised?