Royal Palm Brewing grows footprint, will have outdoor seating with village OK

selective focus photography of people having a toast
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After months of back and forth with Royal Palm Beach, Royal Palm Brewing Co. is growing to a larger space and installing permanent outdoor seating.

The brewery-restaurant received approval from the Village Council at the Sept. 21 meeting on three agenda items that will allow it to grow to nearly 5,200 square feet, including an outdoor patio area, on State Road 7 in the Commons at Royal Palm shopping center.

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The vote came after planning, discussions and paperwork – and nearly $9,000 in fees – between the family-owned business and the village’s planning staff, Royal Palm Brewing Co.’s George Shetka told the council.

“Quite honestly, we’re ready for a resolution,” said George Shetka, who runs the business with his wife, Pam, and brother, Geoffrey.

The council voted to:

  • Allow outdoor seating for breweries next to residential zoning districts, but only with a variance from the council.
  • Approve that variance for Royal Palm Brewing Co.
  • Increase the allowed square footage for breweries in Royal Palm Beach to 6,000 square feet, from the previously approved 5,000 square feet.

When Royal Palm Brewing Co. opened on St. Patrick’s Day in 2018, it was the first of its kind in the village and set a precedent, with Royal Palm Beach writing new rules to accommodate the type of business the Shetkas wanted to open.

As the business has grown, the Shetkas have looked for opportunities to expand within their current shopping center. Royal Palm Brewing Co., which serves food in addition to brewing its own craft beers, now occupies three suites on the shopping center’s north end.

In addition to having dozens of beers on tap, Royal Palm Brewing Co. also offers draft wine, to-go cans of some of its most popular brews, and a food menu with appetizers, tacos, nachos, quesadillas, flatbreads, hot sandwiches, wraps, salads, hot dogs and Polish sausages, and “waffle snackers,” which are described as “stuffed croissant dough snackers baked fresh on a waffle iron.”

The brewery received a letter of support for the outdoor seating plans from the neighboring Bella Terra neighborhood’s homeowners association.

Royal Palm Brewing had outdoor seating temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic and it was a hit, George Shetka said during the Aug. 17 Village Council meeting. There were also no complaints from neighbors during that time, he said.

“The community overwhelmingly supports and wants the outdoor seating,” he said. “They had it. They loved it. Our taproom numbers have dropped since it’s gone away. Thankfully, our distribution numbers are up.”

Not having outdoor seating puts Royal Palm Brewing at a competitive disadvantage, he said. Restaurants like Papi Chulo – just up State Road 7 and also in Royal Palm Beach – that serve Royal Palm Brewing’s beer and are allowed to have outdoor seating do better business, he said.

“If we were to take out our tanks and not make beer there, order it from somewhere else, they could have outdoor seating under the current village code,” George Shetka said in August.

More recently, the brewery had an Oktoberfest event last month with a special event permit that allowed outdoor seating and was approved by the village. There were no issues or complaints from neighbors, Shetka said.

In a Facebook post on Sept. 29, Royal Palm Brewing Co. posted photos of the outdoor seating area and thanked Royal Palm Beach’s staff and officials and the community for their support.

“We hope you enjoy your new space and look forward to seeing you soon,” they said.

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