UPDATE: 318 Coffeehouse Gets OK to Sell Wine and Beer

The Geneva City Council votes 9-1 to add a liquor license for 318 Coffeehouse.

The Geneva  voted 9-1 Monday to grant a special use that will allow 318 Coffeehouse to operate a "cocktail lounge."

The permit will allow adults to get a glass of wine or beer, as well as coffee, at your favorite 318 address on South Third Street.

Robert Untiedt, owner of , plans to serve wine and beer inside the existing coffeehouse as well as outside on the front patio. His desire is to keep 318 Coffeehouse competitive with other coffeehouses, which are trending toward serving wine and beer.

Selling beer and wine would also allow 318 Coffeehouse to make better use of its rentable upstairs room for special events such as wine and chocolate tastings, bridal showers and baby showers, according to a summary presented by Community Development Director Dick Untch.

The sale and serving of wine and beer is classified as a “cocktail lounge” in the Geneva Zoning Ordinance. Cocktail lounges are allowed by Special Use in the B3 Business District. Graham’s 318 Coffeehouse is located in the B3 District.

Alderman Ron Singer voted against the special use.

"I have concens about setting a precedent," he said after the meeting. "Are we going to have the (All Chocolate Kitchen) asking to sell beer? Then Coco Bean and Starbucks? And then maybe the local barber shop will want to sell liquor. My concern is, where's this going to lead to?"

At its meeting on July 12, 2012, the Geneva Plan Commission unanimously recommended approval of a Special Use in the B3 District to allow a cocktail lounge to operate in conjunction with the existing coffeehouse. The Plan Commission made a finding of fact on each of the nine special use standards set forth in Section 11-14-4(F) of the Zoning Ordinance.

The request was also recommended for approval 9-1 by the Committee of the Whole at its meeting on July 23, 2012.

What do the 318 Coffeehouse folks think of the idea?

"It think it will be fun," said Pat Ryan, manager and "world's greatest adventurer." 

Arthur Dietrich August 07, 2012 at 07:18 PM
I rescind my vote for 318 as Best Coffee House in the tri-cities.
Bob Loblaw August 08, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Why? Hilarious. People of Geneva, make up your minds. Either support local businesses or don't, but don't get your underwear in a bind because a business doesn't adhere to your 1950s puritanical standards. Graham's is one of the most successful businesses in Geneva. I'm sure they won't be hurting without your patronage.
Pat Ryan August 09, 2012 at 04:44 PM
If you've been to 318 in the evening, you have been around people that are having wine. There is a BYOB license, and people use it. People have mimosas at bachelorette parties and baby showers, folks have wine with fondue. You haven't noticed, have you? That's because people don't come to 318 to get drunk. It's a coffee shop. Wine goes well with chocolate, that's been proven time and time again. Not much will change aside from people having the opportunity to get wine when they would like some. You might recognize my name from the article. I do work at 318. Things will not get out of hand, trust me on this. We will not over-serve. There will be limitations. A coffeeshop is not and never will be a place for people to "get their drink on." An adult is welcome to have a glass of wine. Myself and my staff will be vigilant, as we have always been, about the consumption of alcohol in our shop. Again, I will repeat, if you have been to 318 in the evening, you have been in the presence of those drinking. It has not effected you before, it will not effect you once this is taking place. Take a deep breath, friends! This is so much less of a big deal than you are thinking it's going to be.
Pat Ryan August 09, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Are you kidding? I'd never let any of them leave! The young folks we have working with us are AMAZING! Nothing is going to change, trust me, dude, especially the younger workers I'm so blessed to have working with me!!
Da Codger August 11, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Get a grip, Geneva. I, for one, will continue to frequent 318. I am confident that if the management finds this was a mistake and the "wrong" crowd starts showing up, it will revert back to BYOB. I'm not too worried about locking up my woman and children over this. There are far more important things in the world to worry about. If this keeps the business viable and local, I'll come in to toast their success.


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