Much-debated Saint Archer Brewing tasting room set to open in Leucadia

Much-debated Saint Archer Brewing tasting room set to open in Leucadia
Saint Archer’s will feature 30 taps of its best-known and specialty brews. The tasting room was debated last year as part of a broader conversation of alcohol along the 101 in Encinitas. Courtesy photo

A tasting room in Leucadia that was debated last year as part of the broader conversation of alcohol along Coast Highway 101 in Encinitas is set to make its debut later this month.

Saint Archer Brewing Co. is opening the tasting room seven months after the city’s Planning Commission gave it final approval in November 2017.

A company representative said the tasting room will open after the city signs off on the business’ final inspection.

The new establishment opens in the former Fern Boutique, sandwiched between Surfy Surfy and Paddle Planet on North Coast Highway 101. The space was the location of the iconic Roy’s Market.

Originally, the Planning Commission unanimously approved the project in September 2017, but asked staff members to see if they could require the brewer to create two additional parking spaces to address concerns that the establishment didn’t have enough parking.

In November, staff returned and told the commission that adding the two parking spaces was unfeasible, and the commission finalized the approval.

Saint Archer’s proposal arose during a period when the city was grappling with calls from the community to address issues arising from alcohol-serving establishments along the Coast Highway Corridor. Some residents even called for a moratorium on permits for such businesses.

But most of those concerns dealt with downtown Encinitas businesses, though several residents spoke at the commission meeting in September asking the body to deny the Saint Archer permit because of what they said was an over concentration of alcohol licenses in the area.

Saint Archer got a boost from the Sheriff’s Department, which endorsed the plans. Sheriff’s officials had recommended denying a more controversial project proposed by Modern Times in downtown.

“I don’t feel this one is the tipping point,” Commissioner Glenn O’Grady said at the time. “But I am conscious of that.”

Saint Archer’s will feature 30 taps of the brewer’s best known and specialty beers, and guests can take beer to go in cans, bombers and growlers.

In coming months, according to a news release, the tasting room will host art shows and partner with nonprofit organizations including SurfAid.

A future merchandise room will pay homage to Roy’s Market, said Paulina Milan, a media relations specialist.

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