Planners OK coffee outlet, but postpone tasting room issue

The Sonoma Planning Commission approved a new formula business at the Hot Shots Broadway location, but kicked the can down the road on tasting room regulations Thursday.

Dutch Bros. Coffee, a drive-thru firm that started in Grants Pass, Ore., was approved on a 5-1 vote. But the commission made strong recommendations to the Design Review Commission that it “tone down” the bright blue color scheme which is part of the corporate brand.

Robert Fulton, representing RJF Enterprises, said the parent company is “flexible.” He said the building will remain its earth tone color, but accent colors and signage will change based on what is approved by the DRC.

Dutch Bros. Coffee has 200 franchisees in the Western United States. The business is buying Dave Mock’s Hot Shots at 711 Broadway. Unlike Mock, the new business will not have a sit-down restaurant, nor will it have baristas taking orders in the queue. Selling coffee, smoothies, and pastries only, the line should be quicker, according to Fulton, who says average time to get coffee from the drive thru window is 90 seconds.

While the commission had a brief discussion over the formula use, most of the meeting was about tasting rooms.

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