Controversy brewing over alcohol at Church Hill coffee shop - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Controversy brewing over alcohol at Church Hill coffee shop

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Controversy is brewing over a Church Hill coffee shop's proposal to serve beer and wine.

Captain Buzzy's Beanery is asking the City for a special use permit to expand its menu to include alcohol. A bus load of people headed to city hall, Monday night to protest.

Neighbors fear a bar-like atmosphere will form on blocks lined with homes. However, Bob Buffington, owner of Captain Buzzy's, says he's just trying to make a few extra bucks with a harmless expansion of his business.

"It's a very gentle way to come in and enjoy cheesecake and a chardonnay," said Buffington.

Buffington says several Starbucks around the country are starting to serve alcohol. He says the chain is grinding out major profits.

"It's increased their sales 100 percent," continued Buffington.

However, Buffington has received backlash since he proposed the idea for the special use permit to serve beer and wine on premises.

"The resistance is… it'll be a strip club," joked Buffington.

Dozens of neighbors filed into the Richmond City Council meeting waving signs. The group even rented a bus.

"We had been making plans for months and months, hoping for a vote on this issue," said Amy Beem, who is opposed to the coffee shop serving alcohol.

Beem says alcohol doesn't have a place on the quiet block with limited parking. "This is a neighborhood. There are nothing but homes," continued Beem.

Buffington counters that there are several cafes and restaurants in the neighborhood, already pouring beer and wine, such as Globe Hopper, which is a three minute drive from his shop.

"I don't understand why Captain Buzzy's is going to bring Church Hill to its knees," questioned Buffington.

"(Buffington) knew that he was zoned residentially and he agreed to having no alcohol, to have his business in that location. So, this is an agreement between him and the residents, from ten years ago, that he is breaking," added Beem.

The City Council is expected to make a decision on October 14th.

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