CHICAGO-While the Chicago Cubs get ready to expand the bleachers at Wrigley Field as well as build retail and garage space next to the ballpark on Clark Street, neighbors beyond the right- and center-field walls are getting some zoning and liquor license relief. One prominent neighbor, Murphy’s Bleachers sports bar, will be allowed to continue operating a beer garden behind neighboring buildings it owns just south of the pub at the southeast corner of Waveland and Sheffield avenues.

While current proprietor Beth Murphy will be able to use the backyard at 3649-51 N. Sheffield Ave. for overflow space from the tavern at 3655 N. Sheffield Ave., future owners of the three-unit multifamily building will not have that right. The non-conforming use, long condoned by the city, was endorsed Thursday by the city council’s committee on zoning. “This is a condition that has been at Murphy’s for 12 years or more,” says 44th Ward Alderman Thomas Tunney.

James Murphy, who bought the tavern formerly known as Ray’s Bleachers in 1980, pioneered the rooftop business concept now ubiquitous on top of properties on Waveland and Sheffield avenues that overlook the 91-year-old ballpark. Murphy, who got into the Lakeview commercial real estate market well before it took off, added rooftop seating in 1984.

Meanwhile, owners of a neighboring three-flat at 3639 N. Sheffield Ave. will be allowed to join the rooftop business. A rezoning to B3-3 gives the property the necessary floor-area ratio to install elevators, handicap access and additional bathrooms.

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