A liquor store could be less than a month away for the north end of Longboat Key.
Whitney Beach Plaza co-owner Ryan Snyder told the Longboat Observer Monday that he expects to have interior work for LBK Liquors completed by the end of the week. After completion, the Florida Department of Agriculture must grant approval to use the property’s liquor license, which is in escrow, at the location.
“Right now, we’re shooting for the first or second week of May,” Snyder said about the store’s opening day.
The liquor store will be located where Longboat Key Liquors originally operated next to Tiny’s of Longboat. Snyder is optimistic that LBK Liquors and the new Longbeach Café, which opened last week, will draw more traffic to the plaza and make other tenants more willing to commit to the location.
“There’s been an immense amount of interest, but people have been, frankly, scared to pull the trigger,” Snyder said. “A couple of prospective tenants have heard the same song and dance and the plaza looks the same as it did seven years ago. They say, ‘Show me the traffic.’”
If the new businesses generate sufficient traffic to the plaza, Snyder hopes to open a bar or restaurant in the old Tiny’s space within three to six months. Snyder also plans to work with the town to determine whether the liquor store could deliver beverages to boaters and Jewfish Key via a pontoon boat.
In the past year, Whitney Beach Plaza has gone through approximately $2 million worth of renovations.
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