Plans to convert a Main Street liquor store into a gourmet coffee shop were approved by city officials last week, but a dispute between the building's owner and the tenant has delayed the transformation from alcohol beverages to caffeinated ones.
Ron Bennett, owner of the building that houses Nip 'N Stuff Liquor at 322 Main St., had planned to open Bennett's Coffee Co. on the site in April, offering imported coffee and bakery goods.
But his tenant, liquor store owner John Baker, has postponed plans to move across the street because of delays in obtaining a permit from the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
Both men had previously agreed to a stipulated court judgment that gave Baker an additional five months in the location and allowed Bennett to charge higher rent during the extended time. Baker won a one-month extension in a subsequent court hearing and must vacate the building by April 14.
Bennett says his coffee shop will not open until June because of the extensive remodeling planned once Baker moves out. Bennett is also concerned that he might lose the contractors hired for the job because of the delay.