Kyle McHugh, the owner of River North liquor store Drinks Over Dearborn, has announced that he’s closing the store on December 31. His lease is up soon, he says, and he hasn’t been able to find a partner, so he feels his only choice is to shut down. Earlier this year he launched a “500 Benjamins or Bust” campaign in which customers gave $100 or more that they could use as for store credit; the cash infusion shored up the store in the short term but wasn’t enough to save it in the long run.

I’ll personally be sad to see Drinks Over Dearborn go; I first wrote about McHugh when he was still in the process of opening it, and a little later chronicled his struggles to get a liquor license. The store was Philip Montoro’s pick for Best Customer Service at a Liquor Store in the Reader’s Best Of issue this year, and it’s always been a good place to find rare booze. McHugh told me that he’s about to send an announcement to his newsletter distribution list; the full text is after the jump.