Developer proposes 'high-end' coffee, wine bar in downtown Sandwich

Local developer Kurt Becker spoke to Sandwich City Council members Monday night about obtaining a liquor license for a new downtown business he is considering opening.

Becker was most recently the manager of the Timber Creek Hotel on Route 34, but recently resigned.

He told council members he would like to open a new high-end business in the downtown.

“I would like to put together an entertainment-gaming parlor in the downtown area. It would not be a typical gaming parlor,” he said. “The first thing we would have is food. It would require a beer and wine license, but it also would be a high-end coffee shop. And I am working with a lady who does high-end hot chocolate.”

Becker said he has been looking at some locations in the downtown, but cannot move on them until he has a liquor license, so he is requesting a beer and wine license. This type of license allows an owner to sell beer and wine for consumption on the premises provided that food also is available.

Alderman Pete Dell said Becker has done other things in the city that have been successful and helpful for the city.

“But one reason we like to have people come before us is to get a feel for the food they will be supplying. The other thing we’re looking for is to have something different from each of these typical businesses,” he said.

Becker said he would like to have a place where people can come for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and just meet.

He said they also would sell beer and wine, but not cheap beer and wine.

“I don’t want to be a bar and have to compete with the bars with cheaper prices,” he said.

The food menu items, he said, would consist of sandwiches, pizza and similar items.

When asked about a business plan, he said he would like to have a space of about 1,000 square feet. He said he has looked at the former Hallmark store downtown. It contains about 3,000 square feet, but could be divided, he said.

Becker said he also would have video gaming in the business, which would give it a sports theme. There would also be sitting areas with television sets, he noted.

Alderman Shane Surratt, who was appointed to the council at the last meeting, said what he is looking for is something different, adding that Becker’s ideas meet that criteria.

Alderman Dell said there is a 3,500-square-foot upscale coffee shop now under construction in Yorkville near the movie theater. He said that shop plans to serve upscale wine and beer, have a wine cellar and seat about 80 people.

Becker said he would continue working on his plans and present them to the council when complete.

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