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Nectarine Grove seeks expansion, alcohol

ENCINITAS — A popular Leucadia restaurant is proposing to expand by adding an outdoor patio and selling beer and wine.

Nectarine Grove opened in early 2018 in the shell of the former El Torito Meat Market near the intersection of Leucadia Boulevard and Coast Highway 101.

The restaurant, known for its locally sourced menu, paleo, gluten free, dairy free and vegan-friendly options, as well as its smoothies and drinks, has rapidly become a popular establishment along a very energetic stretch of Coast Highway 101.

In the past two years alone, the stretch of Leucadia’s core street has added a St. Archer tasting room, Surfhouse boutique hotel and Nectarine Grove in a stretch that already had popular establishments such as Coffee Coffee, the Regal Seagull, Solterra Winery and Le Papagayo restaurant. 

The Planning Commission voted March 21 to delay a vote on the proposed patio expansion and on-site beer and wine sales after questions arose about discrepancies with the dimensions of the dining area as it pertained to the total square footage of the restaurant space. 

Commissioner Al Apuzzo expressed concern that if the dining space was miscalculated, the restaurant might not provide the required amount of parking with the proposed expansion.

“We’re not going to get a slide ruler out and figure this out on the dais,” Commission Chairman Glenn O’Grady said, echoing Apuzzo’s concerns.

City staff agreed to postpone the discussion until April 4. 

Nectarine Grove owner Rhiana Glor said she believed the restaurant has resolved the issues.

“Their … concern was that we potentially did not have the correct number of parking spaces. However, after working with our landlord, we realized the city was allotting too many spaces to our neighbor,” Glor said. “So we have access to more spaces than we originally presented, therefore we feel confident that at our next meeting we will be able to show the city we have what is necessary for the patio permit and beer/wine permit. And it does not affect our neighbor at all as they were not ‘claiming’ the spots, so it was just an error when the original calculations were done with the city staff.”