The Kansas City Council unanimously voted on Thursday to change the city's liquor ordinance, paving the way for Trader Joe's to open next summer at the Ward Parkway Shopping Center.

The changes also help out businesses in the Bannister area, where existing rules over the residential density requirements allowed some businesses to have liquor licenses while others next door were not.

"It's just another tool to make it easier faster for a business to come in there and start up," said Vicki Wolgast of the South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Fans of the Trader Joe's grocery chain had been waiting for years for the company to come to the metro, but there was some concern over their ability to obtain a liquor license, a requirement of their lease at the Ward Parkway Center.

The Monrovia, California-based grocery chain has a loyal following with organic products, specialty items and inexpensive wines like Charles Shaw, or "Two-Buck Chuck" as it's known.

Last week, Kansas City Council member John Sharp said that it would be terrible to lose a destination shopping site like Trader Joe's because of the way the city's liquor licenses are awarded.

"This will bring in revenue in terms of tax dollars for the city and the state, but also it will help revitalize the Ward Parkway Shopping Center," said Sharp.

Trader Joe's is scheduled to open the Ward Parkway store and another location in Leawood sometime late next Spring or early Summer.