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BY MARIE PULEO
The former gas station that has stood vacant at 2101 NE 36th Street for nearly eight years, is set to be transformed into SweetBriar, a specialty coffee shop with a drive-through and outdoor seating.
The site plan and “change of use” for the property was recently approved by the Planning and Zoning Board, as well as the City Commission. The proposed exterior renovations were approved by the Community Appearance Board.
Various building permits required by the City still need to be obtained, but the coffee shop’s owners expect refurbishment work to begin on the site by the end of this month, and for the coffee shop to open before the end of the year.
SweetBriar owners Monique Keitz and Carly Altier began the process of getting the necessary approvals from the City in May 2016.
“We wanted to create a community gathering space where people can sit down, enjoy a beverage and really interact with one another,” said Altier. “We wanted to offer a comfortable environment for a wide demographic – whether it be for a business meeting, a stay-at-home mom with her young ones, or a college student who wants to study.”
The existing 1,800 square foot building will be redesigned under its current configuration, and the overhang along Sample Road where the gas pumps once were will be used to accommodate 24 outdoor seats surrounded by planters. An 8-foot wall will be constructed on the north side of the property to separate it from the adjacent residential district, and the existing outdoor storage area will be re-sodded and landscaped.
Redevelopment of the site will also include traffic and parking space reconfiguration, and the closure of one access point on NE 36th Street.
The underground gas tanks were removed when the old Marathon gas station went out of business, and the area where food will be prepared is in what used to be the convenience store.
SweetBriar’s menu will include locally brewed coffee, specialty teas, cold press juices, smoothies and locally-made light fare (empanadas, quiches, tarts and pastries), which can be ordered ahead of time online to cut down on wait time at the drive-through. In the evening, specialty crafted beers and wine will be served, and on Friday and Saturday nights, there will be live acoustic singer/songwriter music that will be performed strictly indoors with the windows and doors closed.
The coffee shop will be open seven days a week. The exact hours of operation are still to be determined, but will be roughly 6:30 or 7am until 9:30pm, with limited hours for the drive-through.
Keitz and Altier are also the owners of The Seed, a coffee shop which opened in Boca Raton in 2014. Progress of the Lighthouse Point site can be followed on sweetbriarlhp.com.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]