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Two Crystal Lake businesses set for expansion

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 9:19 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 10:54 p.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Two existing Crystal Lake businesses will begin expansion plans after receiving approval from the Crystal Lake City Council Tuesday.

Piyush Patel, an owner of Oak Street Food & Liquor at 256 Oak St., plans on opening a second liquor store on Route 31 while automobile dealership Martin Chevrolet, located at 5220 Northwest Highway, hopes for a significant expansion that would include a drive-thru car wash and an addition to connect the sales and service buildings.

The new liquor store is set to open at the old Mema's Liquor location at 450 N. Route 31 and become the city's 23rd business with a Class 13 liquor license. That license allows packaged alcohol to be sold from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. with an additional hour of operation added on the weekends.

Sunrise Tobacco & Liquors is the latest in a recent slew of alcohol-related businesses to come to the city. In December, the City Council approved a new liquor license to make way for the first microbrewery to open in Crystal Lake. That decision came roughly one month after Jasters Craft Beer and Winery at 414 W. Virginia St. had its grand opening.

While the alcohol business expands in the city, automobile dealerships continue to be a key in the local economy.

A week after Mayor Aaron Shepley called automobile dealerships the key driver in the local economy during his State of the City address, Martin Chevrolet received partial approval to expand its services.

The dealership will add a drive-thru car wash, elevated display structures and an extension to connect the service building with its sales building, which also will receive its own additions.

The expansion plans come months before the expected opening of Anderson Volkswagen at 5213 Northwest Highway. That dealership is expected to add at least 10 new jobs to some of the employees it will be transferring from its Route 31 location.

Dealership officials will still need to get approval for flag poles and signage, but Shepley thanked the dealership for its investment in the community.

"I think the plan is great overall. I'm completely supportive of this," Shepley said. "I think it will keep pace with all the work that has been going on with car dealerships here."

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