May 12, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Gourmet Market Is Approved Despite Community Resistance:

Despite lack of support from the Santa Monica Police Department and the neighboring community, a Conditional Use Permit has been granted for 2000 Main Street.

Goudas and Vines, a gourmet market that will include a winetasting area, received the permit from the Planning Commission on September 19.

The market will be on the first floor of Archstone Main Street Apartments, a new four-story mixed-use building that is nearing completion. According to a City staff report, the market will “occupy a 2,710-square-foot tenant space along Main Street” and will sell a variety of fine wines, cheeses, and other gourmet groceries. A total of 25.5 percent of the shelf area will be for the display of wine, while the winetasting area will be 283 square feet and have 12 seats.

Before giving their approval, the Commission heard from about a dozen members of the community who spoke against the project. Ocean Park resident Simon Lamb’s comments were typical of those from the residents living in the surrounding neighborhood. Lamb said that it is “disingenuous to present it [the project] as a retail store with limited alcohol when it [alcohol sales] seems to be the focus.” He then referred to the large number of liquor stores already in the neighborhood and noted “the neighborhood needs are being met by the existing businesses.”

Commission members also heard from some owners of neighboring markets, such as Amen Ajohnny, owner of Allen K Market, who is concerned about the “over proliferation of wine retailers in the area” and the fact that such a market would “compete with my business.”

The community members who spoke also expressed their support for SMPD concerns, which include the fact that there are three other alcohol outlets nearby on Main Street at Bay Street, Pacific Street, and Ocean Park Boulevard. The City staff report states that this area is “a significant source of calls for police, fire, and ambulance services” related to “public drunkenness, urination in public, and persons needing medical attention due to over-intoxication.”

Brandon Kim, the son of the owner of Goudas and Vines, told the Commission, “We’re going to do our best to not carry the same items as our neighbors to avoid a price war.”

Before the vote, Commissioner Hank Koning expressed his support for the project, explaining that he didn’t want to vote based upon restricting markets “based on competition.” He hopes ‘‘in the future this market will become a beloved neighborhood store.”

Commissioner Julie Lopez-Dad echoed Koning’s support for the project. “This is a unique sort of a store,” said Lopez-Dad, that will add something to the Ocean Park retail landscape.

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