Council approves natural food store to sell alcohol |

Council approves natural food store to sell alcohol

— Nothing compliments a savory meal better than a crisp glass of wine, and the owners of Sweet Pea Produce know that.

That’s why Jonathon Hieb and Katherine Zambrana are eager to bring an assortment of organic and non-organic wines and beer to their newly expanded natural food store on Yampa Street.

On Thursday, the Steamboat Springs City Council, acting as the city’s Liquor License Authority, approved Sweet Pea’s liquor license after a brief discussion. The authority noted a petition bearing 31 signatures of people in support of the businesses selling alcohol.

“This has been something we’ve been thinking about as part of the master plan for our natural food store,” Hieb said Thursday. “We thought it’d be cool to get your meats, pastas and really good produce, which we specialize in, and a great bottle of wine in one stop.”

Hieb said Sweet Pea plans to stock a selection of wines from California, Colorado, Chile, Spain, Portugal and France, as well as some beer and potentially hard liquor.

Currently, there are no retail liquor stores serving the downtown market, and although Sweet Pea does not have plans to compete with larger liquor stores, the store may be the only business selling alcohol for a few months.

“We were in the process of applying for our liquor license when the other businesses downtown went out of business,” he said. “We’ll definitely be filling a niche for people who live in Old Town and miss being able to walk a couple of blocks for a six-pack, but we’re not sitting here trying to compete.”

Sweet Pea opens Memorial Day weekend and, in addition to alcohol, will feature a new cafe and expanded floor space.

“We’ve added some security features because we are an open market, and we didn’t want to lose that feel that makes Sweet Pea unique,” he said.

In separate business, the authority on Thursday scheduled a hearing at 5 p.m. June 5 to allow for public comment from residents wishing to speak in favor of, or opposition to two businesses – The Garage Bar at Geek’s Garage and Vino Downtown – receiving liquor licenses. The public hearing will be at Centennial Hall.

– To reach Alexis DeLaCruz, call 871-4234

or e-mail

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