Beaumont daiquiri business loses appeal

Voodoo Queen Daiquiri Dive in Eado. source Jamaal Ellis

Developers of a new potential daiquiri shop in northwest Beaumont will have to go back to the drawing board after the city’s Board of Adjustments denied its request for an appeal.

The shop, to be called Daiquiri Boom as a nod to Beaumont’s past as a boom town, was proposed for a still developing strip center at 8180 Eastex Freeway at the northern corner of the city as a convenience store location.

The developer, Baptiste Brunner, is a Lousianna native and recent resident of Southeast Texas looking to develop the shop as a drive-thru focused spot selling wine-based drinks

But, the city’s planning and community development staff took issue with the plans originally submitted in August of this year when Brunner’s architect submitted a floor plan that included seven bar stools and four tables inside.

Brunner was told that his business would have to be designated as a drinking establishment, which would require him to seek a specific use permit in order to open in the zone the strip center is located in.

At the board adjustment meeting at Beaumont City Hall on Thursday, Brunner told members that the floor plan was created with stool and tables because he had to provide seating in the building in order to meet requirements with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for a beer and wine permit.

“We designed our layout to take up as much space as possible, adhering with disability code compliance, but we have a catch 22 here,” Brunner said.

Since the business couldn’t apply for a package store license since drinks are mixed and sealed on site, according to the developer, the business would be designed to prioritize drive-thru customers and provide the most basic amount of inside accommodations to meet state requirements.

The argument that customers wouldn’t likely be inside and that the business would be designed to avoid people drinking at the site didn’t sway board members, who voted unanimously to deny the appeal.

Member Jeff Beaver specifically questioned why the plan called for dart boards to be installed inside.

“That area attracts a lot of food traffic, and that (nearby) convenience store relies on foot traffic to that area,” Beaver said. “If you provide a game there, you’re going to encourage people to stay and drink.”

Brunner said it was a part of the plan to take up more space, since installing a dart board meant that there would have to be at least 10 feet of space in front of it, preventing the state from potentially requiring more seating based on available square footage.

Chairman Dana Timaeus said that he appreciated that the developer was trying to give assurance about the design, but he couldn’t base his decision on what the owner intended, only on how the business would operate and if it fit the city’s criteria.

The denial could be a set-back to the potential opening of the business, at least anytime soon, according to the developer.

Based on an email chain presented by Brunner at the meeting, city staff allegedly assured the developer that a specific use permit wouldn’t be needed until finally informing him near the end of the meeting schedule calendar that the designation would be changed, which now means the business will have to wait until mid-January to be considered.

Brunner said that also pushes back any potential opening dates further into next year, as he has to present approved plans before he can secure his site in the new shopping center.

Written by Jacob Dick

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