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The push to serve alcohol near churches

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Updated: 6/10/2013 8:10 pm

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- They brew fresh coffee and serve up fresh teas, but the Kookaburra cafe says spiking their drink menu will also spike their sales.

"We'd love to be able to offer beer and wine just to draw an evening crowd," said co-owner Spencer Hooker.

But a higher power stands in the way of the Kookabura's business plan. St. Augustine law doesn't allow alcohol to be sold within 100 feet of a church. The Kookabura is only 63 feet from the Cathedral Basilica.

Hooker says the law is outdated.

"We'd love to see the city review this ordinance and whether it should be in place at all or or whether it should be revised to foster a better business environment in the downtown area," he said.

Action News reached out to the city planner Mark Knight who seemed to agree.

"One of the things that's positive for that area is restaurants and restaurants are more viable if they serve alcohol," he said.

Tonight, the Kookaburra hopes the rest of city council agrees and considers changing the law.

"We fight for every dollar that we bring in so anything that we can add to potentially draw new customers or to add to our bottom line would be immensely helpful for us," said Hooker.

Action News reached out to representatives of the Catholic Diocese for comment but they have yet to respond.

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RiverRat - 6/11/2013 12:22 PM
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This is a Catholic Church, don't they have their own happy hour after the service?
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