City hears 3 requests for alcohol sales

The meeting of the St Augustine Planning and Zoning Board yesterday heard three requests from businesses wanting the required approval to sell alcoholic beverages in the city; one controversial enough to be tabled for a future meeting.

Josh Parks has applied to expand Local Hero’s Cafe from 31 seats to more than 100; however, Board members said Tuesday that they want him to “provide more details” before they make any decision.

The large piece of property, once the home of 24-year St Johns County Commissioner Richard L Parks, continues through from “18 St George Street” to “11 Spanish Street” the address shown on the Local Hero’s Cafe business license. Josh Parks’ mother, Donna L Parks, now owns the building, courtyard and private sidewalk where Local Hero’s operates. Her sister, Sandra Parks-Kennedy, is a former St Augustine City Commissioner and widow of Stetson Kennedy.

Local Hero’s Cafe was first opened as a restaurant in mid-September 2004 by Jeff Sapp; after he spent about two months renewing and refitting the building that had been left dormant for about seven years.

Slowing Parks down at this point may be the fact that he is using his grandfather’s 1820’s home primarily as an evening entertainment spot where, in 2010, late partying, alcohol and friends, moshing and extremely loud music became such a nuisance that St Augustine bed-and-breakfast owners complained to the City Commission that they were losing business from all the noise.

No action was taken on Local Hero’s application during yesterday’s meeting.

Across St George Street, Colonial Quarter LLC was approved to expand the existing Taberna and add an English pub as part of the redesign of the multi-era village in the former Colonial Spanish Quarter complex. Additional consent was given allowing “alcohol sales and consumption at designated areas for evening shows and special events” after Colonial Quarter LLC’s Pat Croce told the board, “We’re not creating a bar here — this is part of an immersive experience for visitors.”

Finally, Paul and Rebecca Morris, who promise a family-oriented movie theater on a former theater site on Washington Street, accepted conditions that beer and wine sales could only be to holders of paid admissions to the theater and that the business closes at 11:30 p.m.

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