An innovative business designed to improve the access to quality food in the Logan Square area is closing its doors.
Logan Square Kitchen (2333 North Milwaukee Ave) operates as an event space and a shared kitchen area for 20 local businesses to utilize that can't afford their own.
But according to a posting on the Web site, owner Zina Murray says the business will close on June 28th. She blames the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection for burdening her business with excessive "red tape."
"Unfortunately, we see no end to regulatory burdens, which will continue to block our ability to grow a healthy business," Murray said in the Web site posting. "It’s a sad time when our government kills the very things that can heal our City."
Murray says she endured "intimidation and harassment" and was forced to use her resources to pay for lawyers and her mortgage.
BACP spokesperson Jennifer Lipford responded to the claims with the following statement:
We are sorry to hear that an innovative, neighborhood business such as Logan Square Kitchen is closing. From Day 1, BACP worked with Logan Square kitchen to properly license their facility - just as other businesses with the same activities require - and even helped them with their state liquor license. BACP has not had any issues with LSK or issued any citations since assisting them through the permitting process. The City wants to help businesses while also ensuring that they are safe, sanitary, and operating legally. This is why we now have an emerging business permit to help new business models get up and running while we determine how to license and regulate.
Murray's initial idea for the business was to open a full-scale European-style market focusing on healthy, sustainable food, but she and her husband decided to go with the smaller concept because it would take too many years to make it happen.
Coincidentally, Mayor Rahm Emanuel chose Logan Square Kitchen as the site of a press conference last week to announce a new ordinance that streamlines the process of obtaining a business license in Chicago, although Murray says the changes have come too late to save her business.