Monterey County

Pacific Grove restaurant gets approved for permit to expand, for now

New coffee shop and deli possibly coming to Lovers Point

PACIFIC GROVE, Calif. - Some people in Pacific Grove aren't happy about plans for something new at Lovers Point. 

After a public hearing Friday, the city took a controversial step toward granting a permit for a new coffee shop and deli at The Beach House Restaurant.

Lovers Point is a popular area, but is a new deli and coffee shop a good idea?  It really depends on who you talk to. 

Chloe Hilda, a New England tourist visiting the area said, "It would be nice to sit somewhere with a view and use wifi which is quite important for tourists."

Her friend Marina Gill, also a New England tourist said, "One of the dangers of these kinds of coffee shops opening up is they do trip the business of these smaller places."

Both of those arguments came up in Friday's public hearing. The owner of the Grill at Lovers Point, not far from the Beach House, is fighting the coffee shop plan. He says he's worried about competition.

Joseph Cavallaro said, "It's basically gonna drive me out of business - I can't compete with any inside seating or a new building, my building is 71 years old."

The California Coastal Commission has concerns about the affect on recreational use of the area. But the city says the new coffee shop would be well within space designated for commercial use.

Some of the residents at the public hearing didn't just come to voice their concern over the approval or denial of the permit of the Beach House restaurant, they were more concerned with the process.  Though a permit was approved after the hearing, the process isn't over.

Steve Matarazzo, interim community development director said, "My decision can be appealed to the planning commission, the planning commission's decision can be appealed to the City Council."

The Beach House does have the building for the deli and coffee shop ready to go, but the appeals process is a lengthy one, there are details to work out, and the final decision could still go either way.  The next meeting isn't until sometime in October.

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