Long Beach, News

City Council allows Junipero Beach concession stand alcohol permit

Long Beach City Council voted 7 – 1 on Tuesday to allow Saltwater Deck concession stand a permit for alcohol sales, despite two appeals against the permit during the summer.

The Junipero Beach concession stand that opened last year filed for a conditional alcohol sales permit in July for their stand to sell alcohol along with food.

Amy Cold, co-owner, explained she has lost customers and public interest since her store does not provide alcohol. To her, that license would help bolster the growth of Saltwater Deck.

“I assure them we have great food and views, but that isn’t enough to keep them,” Cold said. “We want to grow and adapt with the city, we want to redefine tour beach areas as a year round place to go.”

The permit restricts beer and wine served at the establishment by making the alcoholic beverages remain at the stand and halt alcohol sales an hour before closing.

It does not change the nature of the stand, due to alcohol being sold along with food. It provides a small percentage of overall sales, and it allows beach goers to remain at the beach rather than leaving to a commercial area.

Two appeals were filed against the permit in July, citing concerns of the high crime area the relative closeness to playground, according to Christopher Koontz, acting director of Development Services.

Melinda Cotton, a Long Beach resident, filed an appeal against the alcohol permit and provided a presentation against the license.

“It’s puzzling that the idea of changing the rules on alcohol for concession stands was not taken first to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department or Commission and the Marine Advisory Commission for public discussion and consideration,” Cotton said.

Cotton also sees the addition of alcohol to the beaches as a problem because of trash and dangers to residents who want to enjoy the beach.

Shermaya Sims, a Long Beach resident, presented an appeal against the permit as well, providing her own video to explain her perspective as a child.

“Children don’t have a lot of power,” Shermaya said. “We rely on parents, our teachers, and our leaders to make good decisions for us. Like schools, beaches are sacred places.”

Shermaya said the sale of alcohol near recreational areas designed for all ages or kids presents a risk to them.

“When balancing the question on whether or not have an alcohol license, you’re often balancing whether or not it’s worth to have the concession at all,” said Stacy Mungo, councilwoman of District 5.

The permit for Saltwater Deck is similar to the permit given at Alamitos Beach, a Type 41 for only beer and wine. It creates no physical change beside a rope around the seating area.

The proposal went to a vote, where Councilwoman Mary Zendejas was in opposition, but did not express an opinion on the matter.

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