Despite gathering about 300 signatures of support from Portsmouth residents, the owners of Custom House Coffee were met by stark opposition Wednesday night when they appeared before the Portsmouth Town Council to seek a liquor license.
The coffee shop's owners want to serve alcoholic coffee drinks, such as Irish Coffee and Espresso Martinis, at its Portsmouth shop located at the corner of King Charles Drive and West Main Road.
The town council, after hearing from two local residents, decided to postpone any vote on the requested liquor license. The request will be heard again at a meeting on Sept. 24.
"We think the town is doing its due diligence and we respect what the town is trying to do," said the shop's co-owner Mark Libby.
The shop's owners have even managed to be granted an exemption over a state law, which prohibits any establishment to serve liquor within 200 feet of a church. The coffee shop is located across the street from the King's Grant Fellowship church.
The coffee shop's owners met with state legislators about this law. According to Libby, legislators voted on the exemption a few months ago, allowing them to be granted the license with town approval.
Custom House Coffee currently operates shops in Middletown and Portsmouth, with a third shop to open this summer in Fall River, MA. The Middletown store has operated with a liquor license since last year.