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Brewpubs Could Be Coming To Safety Harbor


brewpubAnyone who has ever been here knows Safety Harbor is home to a wide variety of bars, restaurants and pubs.

From the downtown district to Enterprise Road, patrons can eat and drink at pizza joints, Irish pubs, seafood spots and an assortment of sandwich shops, diners and other eateries.

Soon Harborites might be able to add another type of establishment to that list, after the Safety Harbor City Commission passed an ordinance on Monday night allowing breweries, brewpubs and microbreweries to operate within certain zones in the city.

“In response to a growing trend at local and statewide levels, staff is proposing a series of code amendments that would expand the range of permitted uses in the city’s Commercial/Light Industrial District to include brewpubs, microbreweries, micro-distilleries and regional breweries,” Community Development Director Matt McLachlan said of Ordinance 2014-03.

“Since the proposal was first presented to the Planning and Zoning board in January, three interested parties have come forward with plans to start a microbreweries in Safety Harbor,” he added. “One has a contract to purchase a former paint and body shop in the C2 district on Tenth Avenue South.”

The ordinance goes on to clearly define what constitutes a brewpub and microbrewery/micro-distillery and sets guidelines and restrictions on the location, size, food/beverage ratios and parking requirements of such establishments.

McLachlan recently told Safety Harbor Connect that due to the interest in developing these types of establishments in the area, the city is responding by adding guidelines and allowances for these enterprises in the city code.

“Right now these allowances aren’t even addressed in the city code,” he said prior to Monday night’s meeting. “We are just setting up use restrictions as to where, how and when these businesses can be located.”

“This brewpub trend is gaining in popularity, and we are responding to that.”

The measure passed by a unanimous vote of 5-0, with no comments made by any of the commissioners.

Harborites, what do you think of Ordinance 2014-03? Are you ready to have a brewpub in town? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. I agree with Gary and Eric. This is an awesome opportunity for Safety Harbor and its citizens. Even though I enjoy tapping the vine and have limited experience with craft beers, I can’t wait to see the outcome; and yes Jeff, I am sure I will see you there!

  2. Excellent feedback, everyone. Thanks for the comments. I can’t wait to cover the opening of the first brewpub in town – and of course I’ll have to sample the product in the name of journalism!

  3. Well said Gary. We need to keep in mind that microbreweries are not only places that serve beer and/or food, but they are actually making a product as well. They aren’t just handing out beer like a tap house. They are making a product, setting up distribution, hiring people, etc.

    These are businesses that can grow exponentially in a very short time. It is great that the city council is taking steps to ensure that these businesses come town.

    — Note I moved from Atlanta in July 2013 and do not live in Safety Harbor…yet. My wife and I are looking for houses as we speak!

  4. Fantastic! Much needed in town and will bring more people to SH. Let me know when they open and be 1st in line!

  5. This is nothing but a benefit to business owners in Safety Harbor. A business such as a brewery is going to create a draw. We have made so strides towards improvement there is no reason to stop now. Being one of the bar owners in town, I’m in complete support!

  6. I think it’s great I can’t wait. Anyone that thinks this is a bad ideal needs to think about property values and keeping local businesses going. Best thing is we now have the Jolly Trolly and now this we’re going to be a great addition to all the great thinks going on in the areas.

  7. As Safety Harbor adds restaurants, pubs, and even micro breweries it becomes more of a destination place for people from surrounding areas. The more customers that comes to Safety Harbor, the greater success for our restaurants that are currently here – and the greater their success, the more opportunities and choices people in Safety Harbor have. Safety Harbor is a vibrant and cool little town compared to the way it was 20 or even 15 years ago — now we have many places to go right here in Safety Harbor for food and entertainment. I suspect more people from Safety Harbor will frequent a microbrewery restaurant than the paint and body shop it is replacing.

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