Starbucks in Solana Beach shopping center to sell alcohol

Coffee and tea soon won’t be the only drinks on the menu at Starbucks in Solana Beach.

The City Council on Nov. 18 unanimously authorized a conditional use permit so the shop in the Solana Beach Town Center could sell alcohol.

With the council’s vote, the Starbucks site will introduce its corporate “Evenings Program,” which includes an expanded food menu as well as the sale of beer and wine for onsite consumption.

“Starbucks is very excited about the opportunity to roll out the program in your area at this location,” said Jim Forgey of Architects Orange on behalf of Starbucks. “This Starbucks, in fact, has been a popular community-based, family-oriented place for people in the area.”

The applicant asked to sell alcohol from 4 to 10 p.m. daily. But because the site is located near four schools — Skyline Elementary School, Earl Warren Middle School, Solana Beach Presbyterian Preschool and Santa Fe Christian Schools — it is a popular gathering area for students once school is dismissed.

Therefore, the Sheriff’s Captain recommended the store begin selling alcoholic beverages at 5 p.m., but council members moved forward with Starbucks’ original request.

“I’ve actually got no problem with the 4 p.m. start time,” said Councilman Peter Zahn. “Yes, there are schools in the area, but from what I’ve seen, the Starbucks in our community, the two of them, have behaved responsibly.”

Located west of Interstate 5 at 691 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Starbucks occupies a 2,413-square-foot space as well as an 801-square-foot outdoor patio. The business is open from 4 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Along with the addition of alcohol, Starbucks plans to reduce the total number of tables at the store from 33 to 24 and the number of chairs from 92 to 78. The applicant’s proposal did not necessitate an increase in parking spaces.

Starbucks must also receive approval from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to begin selling alcohol. The council will re-evaluate the matter in six months.