A cannabis dispensary license holder pulled out of the deal to buy the building that houses Doc Ryan’s bar, 7432 Madison St., leaving the future of the building up in the air.
On Feb. 8, the bar announced on Facebook that the building is being sold and that March 31 will be its last day. Mayor Rory Hoskins subsequently told the Review that the building is being sold to Euphoria LLC, an Olympia Fields-based company that planned to open a cannabis dispensary.
On Feb. 13, the village council voted 4-1 to allow cannabis dispensaries to open on Madison Street by right instead of requiring the council to approve any new dispensaries on a case-by-case basis.
At the time, Hoskins said the deal wasn’t final and Euphoria was doing its due diligence. By early March, rumors started circulating that the company had pulled out of the deal. While the mayor confirmed the rumor, he said he has not received an explanation on why Euphoria decided not to go through with it.
This leaves the fate of the building uncertain. Matt Sullivan, who bought the bar from longtime owner Jim Shaw in the fall of 2007 and whose name was listed on the state liquor license as of Feb. 28, did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment. When the Review visited Doc Ryan’s last week, a bartender on duty confirmed that the bar would close on March 31.
According to Secretary of State records, Euphoria is owned by Brian Allen, who also owns the Tru Blue Security company. The license allows him to open a dispensary anywhere in Cook County.
When the village council allowed cannabis dispensaries by right, they capped the number of dispensaries at one. This would mean another license holder could still open a dispensary somewhere on Madison Street. Dispensaries are also allowed by right in industrial areas, but the conditional use still applies for commercial areas outside Madison Street.
Euphoria’s decision came after the village council voted unanimously on Feb. 27 to allow the Bloc cannabis dispensary to open inside the former CVS location at 7216 Circle Ave.
Doc Ryan’s has been in business since the 1950s and was a go-to venue for political events — most recently, mayoral candidate John Doss’ campaign kick-off fundraiser. But the bar also had a record of misbehavior — though Forest Park Police Chief Ken Gross testified at a liquor commission hearing last year that things have improved in recent years.
While the bar’s Facebook page floated the possibility of relocating elsewhere, liquor licenses are tied to addresses. If it moves elsewhere in Forest Park or to some other municipality, it will have to start from scratch to get new local and state liquor licenses.
The bar’s current state liquor license expires at the end of February 2024.