An entrepreneur wants to open a microbrewery and tasting room in North Beach, but the city isn't quite sure how to handle its permit.
Tom Cordato has applied to open the place at 1640 North El Camino Real. The business would be unique in that it focuses on its tasting room and on-site customer experience rather than production volume, according to city staff reports.
The brewery would make about 5,000 barrels per year or fewer, the report states, and wouldn't be bottling any of it -- just transferring it to kegs.
Staffers are looking for clarification from the San Clemente Planning Commission Wednesday on how to permit the business. In the report, they figure the place falls under the bar category, which requires a conditional use permit.
This is how staffers suggest the city handles the business -- with the caveat going forward that microbreweries along Camino Real (as opposed to retail production and bottling operations in the business parks off Avenida Pico) should be prohibited from producing more than 5,000 barrels per year.
The brewery in question and others moving forward should also be prohibited from using bottling equipment other than what is required to put the beer into kegs, the report states.
Staffers said in the report the business fits with the city's General Plan calling for more visitor-oriented entertainment and amenities in the North Beach area. They also point to Pizza Port as an example of a similar business on Camino Real, though Cordato doesn't plan on serving food.
The building at 1640 Camino Real used to house the long-defunct Sea Breeze Cafe and a more recently closed cigar store. The broker for the property is NAI Capital, a commercial realty firm.
The planning commission meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the San Clemente Civic Center, 100 Ave. Presidio.