No Service: St. Peters Aldermen Says No to Craft Beer Bar
Board of Aldermen vote 7-0 to deny special use permit for Exit 6 Pub and Brewery.
Exit 6 Pub and Brewery will not be coming to St. Peters.
Jeff Britton, owner of Exit 6, petitioned for a special use permit to open an upscale craft beer bar in the Promenade Center on the south side of Mexico Road and east of Devondale Place. The bar’s planned location placed it within 200 feet of Mid Rivers Elementary—something that didn’t sit well with parents and the Board of Aldermen.
By a 7-0 vote (Alderman Dave Thomas, Ward 1, abstained) the Board voted to deny Britton’s special use permit.
“I’m not very happy with the way things went,” Britton said. “I don’t understand why they charged me $250 [in fees] plus another $700 in mailings only to come here and get completely shutout.”
Britton had cleared every hurdle prior to Thursday’s vote. At the Feb. 8 Planning and Zoning Commission, Exit 6 was approved, despite the objections from concerned parents.
Thursday’s Board of Aldermen meeting brought out more voices against the proposed pub. The concern was all about location. Many public comments complimented the idea of the bar, but were wary of opening an establishment that serves alcohol 200 feet from a school.
According to city ordinances, a bar cannot be built within 100 feet of a school or church. Despite meeting that requirement, the public comments were very much against Britton’s bar.
Of the 10 public comments about the bar, only one was in favor of the bar moving into the Promenade Center. Garrett Kasper, who, along with his wife, is opening a yoga studio in the same center, said a bar would help bring in tax money.
“I’d be honored to have him as my neighbor in that complex,” he said.
Other weren’t so welcoming. Concerns about operating a bar near a dance studio were raised. Other parents had issues with the main entrance to the bar—a common roadway shared by both the school and the shopping center.
Britton said he wouldn’t open his bar until 5 p.m. when kids are out of school. Parents, however, were quick to point out that Mid Rivers Elementary hosts a lot of after-school activities. Parents were concerned with the beer-only bar being open with kids in the building. Also, those same customers—potentially intoxicated—would be sharing the common roadway as everyone goes home.
Another issue raised was the selling of craft beer itself. Britton wasn’t going to sever the regular Anheuser-Busch products, but craft beers unique to St. Charles County. Craft beer traditionally has a higher alcohol content, a fact that worried parents.
The Board agreed with the public comments. Despite fitting into the ordinance requirements, the Board said it was not comfortable with a school being in the backyard of the bar.
“It’s not compatible with our interests,” Jerry Hollingsworth, Ward 2, said.
Alderman Rocky Reitmeyer said he liked the idea, but not the location. He asked if Britton would consider finding another location in St. Peters. Britton said he has spent 12 months looking for a location and his backup plan is in O’Fallon, MO.
After being turned down unanimously by the Board, Britton said he’s going to the neighboring city and likely won’t be back in St. Peters.
“I’ve already been in works with O’Fallon,” Britton said. “I’m going to go back to them and see what they have to say, what they have to offer me. I’m a little turned off by [St. Peters].”