Starbucks is one step closer to serving beer and wine at its Arroyo Grande location.
The Arroyo Grande Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit that would allow Starbucks to sell craft beer and wine at the store at 924 W. Branch St. next to the Regal Arroyo Grande Stadium 10 movie theater. The Commission voted 3-2 in favor of issuing the permit, with commissioners Lan George and Terry Fowler-Payne dissenting.
“If adults want a glass of wine, it should be available to them, so I don’t really see a problem with this,” Commissioner John Keen said.
The change is part of a push by Starbucks to attract more nighttime customers by adding more food and alcohol options. The updated offerings are called the Evenings menu and are only sold at select stores throughout the country.
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According to a Starbucks spokeswoman, the company is “in the very early stages of considering our store at 924 W. Branch St. for the Evenings menu. It’s a long and thoughtful process, and the conditional use permit filing is just one of many steps we take.”
At Tuesday night’s meeting, George and Fowler-Payne were concerned that the store is a popular gathering place for minors, and that serving alcohol for a large portion of the day would offer more opportunities for underage drinking.
“We have 27 locations — 15 in the Village alone — that serve beer and wine,” George said. “It would be nice for them to have an area they can go to that is beer and alcohol free.”
George advocated pushing back the time that Starbucks could sell alcohol to 4 p.m., but the commission eventually approved the company’s original requested service hours of noon to closing time — 10:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The permit will go to the City Council for final approval on Feb. 9.