Dewey Beach Planning Commission OKs brewpubPlanning commission recommends approval of conditional-use permit
DEWEY BEACH — A new gourmet farm-to-table restaurant with a beer brewing component won the approval of the Dewey Beach Planning Commission Saturday, March 1.
Voting 5-1, the commission decided to recommend that town council approve a conditional use permit that would pave the way for a brewpub to open in the former Bubba’s Grill location, 2100 Coastal Highway.
The proposed brewpub calls for a gourmet, farm-to-table restaurant. In previous commission meetings, applicants Brandon Smith, Clinton Bunting and Mike Reilly have said a seven-barrel brewing system would be a secondary component to the food menu.
David King, commission chair, said he had entered the process with concerns and reservations about the proposed project, but he gained peace of mind through the extensive vetting process the commission put the applicants through.
Commissioner Mike Harmer said the applicants’ proposal was well thought out and professionally presented.
“I welcome a full-time, year-round restaurant in Dewey Beach. It’s a great thing,” he said during the meeting at the Dewey Beach Life Saving Station.
Mike Paraskevich, commission vice chair, was the lone no vote. He was not satisfied with the applicants' parking and delivery plan and had issues with not receiving a certified building inspection.
“I still have concerns,” he said. “We’re relying too much on character versus the facts.”
After receiving a favorable vote, the applicants appeared relieved.
Bunting said they had gone the extra mile to get through the planning commission stage, more than legally necessary, but the project was better for it.
Reilly said there was a feeling of relief.
“Now hopefully the real work can start,” he said.
Before voting in favor of the conditional use permit, the commission continued to hone the list of conditions the applicants must abide by. There are a total of 38 conditions, 11 of which are brewpub-specific.
The applicants agreed to a number of self-imposed conditions such as not seating customers after 10:45 p.m., brewing beer only from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, not selling more than 800 barrels of beer brewed onsite for wholesale per year and to store spent grain from the brewing process inside in airtight containers.
The location has no liquor license and must obtain one from the Delaware Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner before any brewery-related activities could occur. The applicants cannot get a liquor license from the ABCC without a certificate of compliance from the town.
The proposed project goes before Dewey Beach Town Council, Saturday, March 8, during the council’s regularly schedule monthly meeting. The meeting takes place at the life saving station, and it begins at 9 a.m. The brewpub is the first item on the agenda.