WATSONVILLE — The Watsonville Planning Commission approved retail sales of craft beer for a soon-to-be-constructed restaurant and bar.

Tuesday’s unanimous vote allows the restaurant to establish a walk-in cellar featuring craft beer and cider from local breweries available for purchase.

Located at 45 Aviation Way, EKB Partners is looking to turn an 8,640-square-foot World War II hangar on 45 Aviation Way into an aviation-themed destination spot with a craft brewery, restaurants, outdoor dining space and more.

Knowlton Construction is currently located in the building.

The planning commission previously approved the restaurant and bar on May 2.

Kym Dewitt of EKB Partners said the group is looking to bring a similar business model of its successful Beer Thirty in Soquel to Watsonville.

Dewitt said Beer Thirty is more of a gathering place for community groups, fundraisers and others, rather than a bar.

“We are more about the community that it’s creating,” she said. “It’s really been part of what’s been a successful business model.”

Watsonville Assistant Police Chief Tom Sims said police have no issue with the business and its proposed hours of operation, which is expected to be open seven days a week with a closing time at 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and midnight Friday and Saturday.

Commissioner Eduardo Montesino said he enjoyed the “nice atmosphere” of Beer Thirty, and was looking forward to something similar in Watsonville.

“It will be a plus for the community,” he said.

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