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Starbucks Withdraws Bid to Sell Alcohol in Santa Monica

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By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

October 24, 2014 -- The Starbucks party is over before it even started. Two months after being approved for a permit to sell alcohol in the coffee shop on the corner of Olympic and Main as part of its Evenings program, Starbucks this week withdrew its application. The approval had been appealed.

A Starbucks spokesperson confirmed the application had been withdrawn in an email to The Lookout, but she declined to elaborate on the reason.

“Since announcing the national expansion of the Evenings program earlier this year, Starbucks has been evaluating a number of potential locations in the greater LA area, including the store at [Olympic and Main] in Santa Monica,” the spokesperson wrote. “After careful consideration, we determined it was simply not the right time to launch the Evenings menu at that particular site.”

The Planning Commission approved the permit on a 5-1 vote in August. The dissenting vote came from Jennifer Kennedy, who is also a City Council candidate. She thought the permit's allowing alcohol service to begin at 2 p.m. (12 p.m. on Sundays) was too early.

The commission added several restrictions to the permit, including requiring Starbucks staff to bring the alcoholic beverages to the customers.

Following the meeting, two appeals were filed. One came from Starbucks and another from a resident. Planning and Community Development Director David Martin told the commission last month that Starbucks did not care for one of the conditions placed on the permit and the resident was unhappy with the approval in general.

Santa Monica would have become the third Southern California location to offer alcohol. Beer and wine are on the menu at Starbucks in Calabasas and LAX Airport.

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