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Garfield’s in Palatine plans to remodel, add bar area

Elena Ferrarin

Updated 3/2/2021 2:09 PM

Garfield’s Beverage Warehouse in Palatine is planning a renovation that will include adding a bar area designed for customers to try products for sale, a concept that launched in 2015 at the Crystal Lake store.

Garfield’s chief operating officer Adam Silverstein said the store at 15 N. Brockway St. in Palatine is about to submit plans to the village for the renovation that will include flooring, lighting and installation of a bar for an estimated 16 people.

“We’re going to be really sprucing up the store to bring it into this century,” he said about the building that used to house the old post office.

Silverstein said he hopes to start the remodel by early April and finish “before summer really hits.”

To that end, the Palatine village council gave its OK on Monday to creating a new type of liquor license that will allow liquor stores to sell full-size servings, not just offer small samples, between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. with limited food. Liquor stores must have a minimum 5,000 square feet to be eligible.

“We don’t want the really small retail store to become basically a bar,” Village Manager Reid Ottesen said.

Palatine village staff members have spoken with representatives of Garfield’s in Crystal Lake, who said the bar has been successful there, Ottesen said.

Garfield’s, and any other eligible business in Palatine, will have to get approval for the new liquor license before full-size serving sales are allowed.

Garfield’s has been in Palatine since 2013. It was named Cardinal Warehouse and rebranded as Garfield’s in 2015.

“Innovation is the lifeblood of our industry,” Silverstein said. Tastings and promotions are great, but can’t be offered every week, so having a bar in the store gives customers the opportunity to try something new and get into products they might not have purchased because of the cost, he said.

“The goal isn’t a Jack and Coke. It’s really to drive trial and exploration in different products,” he said. “The last thing you want to do is buy a bottle of whiskey that’s $100 and hate it.”

The company started when Norman Garfield opened a small store in Cicero in 1951. There are now seven Garfield’s locations — Palatine, Barrington, Crystal Lake, Norridge and three in Chicago — with plans to open an eighth store in May at 1 E. Camp McDonald Road in Prospect Heights.

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