Planning board raises a glass to alcohol at Literary Bookpost

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 15, 2015

For those who enjoy a good book and a glass of wine, Tuesday’s Salisbury Planning Board meeting was a win-win.

Literary Bookpost on South Main Street downtown received approval from the board for a special-use permit to serve alcohol. The business wants to serve beer and wine, along with sodas, juice boxes and water, as another way to attract customers, according to store manager Leslie Cataldo. She said being able to serve beer and wine will enhance business and go well with events such as book signings.

City Council still has to approve the request. The issue will likely come up at council’s first meeting in May.

Cataldo said they’re trying to keep up with the times and that a lot of bookstores are now serving alcohol. She also said the store is looking to stay open later on Thursdays and Fridays — until 8 p.m.

Literary Bookpost has an enclosed patio at the rear of the building where people can sit, read and drink.

The board also plans to work to loosen the city’s restrictions on electronic message signs — the ones typically outside businesses, schools and churches — something that’s been an issue for years in Salisbury.

The Hefner VA Medical Center, on federal property, has one, and so do Catawba and Livingstone colleges. But currently, businesses in general aren’t allowed to use them in the city except to show time, temperature or fuel prices.

“It’s not going away,” Planning Manager Preston Mitchell said about the issue. He has a plan to streamline the city’s code for electronic signs, also called LED signs. The plan involves provisions based on the type of road that the sign would be located on, he said.

The city continues to receive requests to use the signs. Auto House on Jake Alexander Boulevard South wants to have an electronic sign outside its business once its new facility is built.

Contact Reporter David Purtell at 704-797-4264.