Downtown WPB business denied for liquor license because they're too close to church

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A new downtown West Palm Beach business is fighting to get a liquor license even though the city is saying they can't have one.

The problem is their location is said to be too close to a church.

Le Rendevous is a new French establishment off of Datura Street and right now, beer and wine are the only types of alcohol they can serve to their customers.

"We wanted to open a place where you could come and relax and have a cocktail," owner, Olivier Delrieu said.

He and his brother opened the business hoping to serve alcohol with food and to their late night patrons.

Problem is their establishment is within 500 feet of the First Presbyterian Church of West Palm Beach.

"We were not worried and finally we discovered we can not have a license and it was the end of the world for me," Delrieu said.

If you look at a Google map, it says the business is .1 mile or 528 feet away from the church.

According to the map, Hot Pie Pizza is the same distance from the church.

However they have a liquor license.

"It's not fair and I feel like some business can have all the tools to succeed and some don't," Delrieu said.

The City of West Palm Beach said the ordinance was put into place just a little more than a year ago.

The city said Hot Pie is able to have a liquor license because they are strictly a restaurant whereas Sticks and Spirits or Le Rendezvous aren't so they must abide by the 500 feet rule.

Le Rendezvous is still trying to survive as a new small business despite it.

They're fighting for an exemption so they can get more people into the restaurant to help them become a hot spot in downtown West Palm Beach.

"I'm very positive and I believe that we will get it but I just don't know when," Delrieu said.

The city said nobody has ever been granted an exemption since the ordinance went into place last year.

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