Social Coffeehouse once again dominated discussion during the latest Leonardtown Council meeting.
After a lengthy meeting last month in which the council voted 3-2 to allow the popular business to retain outdoor seating until Jan. 2, coffee shop owner Sean Coogan was back on Oct. 12, this time asking for a letter of support for a liquor license transfer to a business down the street.
That letter of support was approved 3-1 with Councilwoman Mary Maday Slade voting no. Councilman Jay Mattingly was absent.
Coogan discussed plans to move from 41658 Fenwick St. to 41655 Fenwick St. The move in January would put his business into the Duke Building on the corner of Washington Street. Coogan detailed plans to provide 56-61 outdoor seats, depending on the season.
The outdoor seating would involve using a handicapped parking spot in front of the former Dos Amigos restaurant on Washington Street. Town Administrator Laschelle McKay noted that the spot really isn’t adequate for handicapped parking anyway since it has a slope and a storm drain is located next to it.
In addition, Coogan wants to put seating in the alley behind the building and on Fenwick Street. The latter would involve adding an elevated wooden platform in two parking spaces. Council members favored moving the seating so that it’s next to the building on the sidewalk and using half of the width of the parking spaces as a pedestrian walkway. McKay said concrete barriers could be added to separate the walkway from the street.
Coogan’s draft sketches also show a potential for some outdoor seating on a corner of the roof.
Coogan plans to add a coffee roasting business in the building after moving, McKay said.
“There’s a lot of work inside that needs to be done,” Mayor Dan Burris said.
Prior to voting no, Slade said her highest priority was safety, but added that she’s excited that Coogan is moving his business.
A representative from the Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department wanted the outdoor seating only in front of Washington Street, but McKay objected. “Are we going to say ‘no tables’ on Fenwick Street?” she asked, referring to another business that wants to put tables outside.
Coogan said his request to transfer the address for his liquor license would likely come before the St. Mary’s alcohol beverage board when it meets in November.
Other items discussed
In other business, the council also approved a letter of support for Slice House owner Ken Held. He wants to be able to serve alcohol outdoors in a fenced-in area that he recently purchased next to and east of his business at 41565 Park Ave. downtown.
Also, the council voted 4-0 to spend $800 on outdoor lighting at the Tudor Hall building downtown. The St. Mary’s County Historical Society plans to install high-lumen solar lights that point toward the building at a cost of $1,647.
Burris said he’s noticed people outside the building in the evenings looking at the Moll Dyer Rock. “They’re getting a huge following since the rock has been moved,” McKay said, referring to the historic rock’s relocation in February.
Also approved were change orders of $172,800 and $25,000 for GHD Inc. related to design of the wastewater treatment plant expansion due to recent flooding of the site at 22620 Van Wert Lane. McKay noted that water came down the embankment from Court House Drive and flooded the wastewater treatment plant site, which is located west of Town Run.
She noted that the town plans to host a photo scavenger hunt over Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 11-14.