When the project at the old Megamall site announced that a mini Target (2434 N. Sacramento Ave.) would anchor the complex’s ground-floor, a lot of Logan Squarites shrugged: “What about a Whole Foods?” they asked. “Don’t we deserve a Trader Joe’s?” Apparently, we don’t, but thanks to Your Happy Place Liquors, a healthy assortment of organic groceries will still be coming to the block — just across the street.
Your Happy Place Liquors (2501 N. Milwaukee Ave.) will team up this spring with Green Grocer Chicago. The two will dedicate a section of the liquor store to selling “healthy specialty goods that are good for quick and healthy meals, snacks and fast dinners,” Dileep Gangoli, co-owner, with his wife, Janice, of Green Grocer, told Loqan Squarist. “Think sheet-pan dinners and grab ‘n’ go healthy options.”
Welcome aboard, Green Grocer!
Green Grocer, which operates a main store, in south West Town (1402 W. Grand Ave.), along with other partnerships, aims to get the project with Your Happy Place going by the end of March, ahead of the Target building’s opening. The mini Target at the sprawling complex, called Logan Apartments, will open April 5, with apartments also set for spring completion. Target will share the ground-floor retail space with a selection of casual, chain restaurants. Think subs and, for some reason, tacos in a neighborhood that already boasts L’Patron (3749 W. Fullerton Ave.), El Habanero (3300 W. Fullerton Ave.), El Cid (2645 N. Kedzie Ave.) and more. There’ll also be a Verizon store.
In the partnership with Your Happy Place, Green Grocer will commandeer roughly the back fourth of the store’s retail space, installing shelves and coolers for dry goods, produce and specialty cheeses.
“It won’t be an extended grocery store, but it’ll provide the added convenience of being able to get food items at the same time that people pick up a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer,” Gangolli said. He foresees offering artisanal cheeses from Wisconsin and Indiana, meats from regional producers, and produce grown by farmers in Illinois and neighboring states.
The offerings won’t be as extensive as those at the Dill Pickle Food Coop (2746 N. Milwaukee Ave.) up the street on Milwaukee, “because we just don’t have the floor space,” Gangolli said. “The concept will be more grab ‘n’ go, quick meals, sheet-pan dinners, where you put chicken thighs, potatoes on the sheet pan, put some BBQ sauce on and toss it in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes, and you have a meal.”
Going by “Green Grocer at Your Happy Place Liquors,” or something similar, the back-store grocery section will also set itself apart from the newly opening Target by offering easier transactions without the long lines, Gangolli said. Moreover, with the mini Target not selling alcohol, thanks to a liquor license moratorium on the block (for now, anyway), the Green/Happy partnership will offer an easier one-stop shop for drinks and eats. Your Happy Place will continue to operate the front three-quarters of the store, selling craft beer and spirits, along with wine and cigars.
“Even if they do [eventually sell alcohol], we think that we’re doing something unique and something that Logan Square residents might find more appealing,” Gangolli said.
Your Happy Place Liquors, owned by long-time Logan Square residents Julia and David Cruz, opened about three years ago. The shop provides a rare mix of carefully curated alcohol, with an emphasis on mescal and tequila, combined with rotating art displays and community events, including art shows and paint ‘n’ sips.
Construction at Logan Apartments, and the attendant parking restrictions have hurt business at Your Happy Place, the Cruzes told Block Club last month. But when the new complex opens, with its planned 220 apartments, it could bring an influx of new customers, Gangolli said.
The Gangollis and Cruzes began their partnership when Gangolli helped Your Happy Place with some wine distribution needs. (The store will be selling, among others, Gangolli’s own private label, 40 Winks.) Beyond the upcoming food partnership, the two couples also look forward to offering more wine experiences to the community. “We still have the dream of doing a tasting room, doing wine-education classes, leading tourists to vineyards in the Midwest, things like that,” Gangolli said.
By the way, Logan’s mini Target is also hiring, in case you need to earn some artisanal-cheese coin.
Featured photo: Erik Island