Inklings, a name associated with a literary discussion group from the University of Oxford in the 1930s, will open in the next month or so as a similar type coffee and tea house at 530 Main St. in downtown Pleasanton.
The new coffee shop will be located in the building once leased by Round Table Pizza, which has been closed for two years.
Mark Lortz, Inklings' owner told the city's Planning Commission that he plans to convert the former pizza parlor into a meeting hall for community events as well as a coffee shop. The facility will be open to the public for concerts, lectures, art displays and various public meetings.
The new business is affiliated with Valley Community Church, which has operated a coffee and tea operation in the lobby of its church at 4455 Del Valle Pkwy.
The Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve a conditional use permit to operate the meeting hall aspect of the new business with the caveat that if wine, beer or other alcoholic beverages are ever served there, Lortz will have to obtain a special use permit first.
Inklings will occupy and use both floors of the building, which at one time was a destination for soccer and other youth sports clubs end-of-season meals and award ceremonies. The new floor plan will accommodate small wedding ceremonies and receptions, movie nights and other similar types of events.
The first floor is being renovated with a coffee bar and table seating, an assembly area with a portable stage, a green room which performers and lecturers can occupy when not using the stage, two small meeting rooms, a small kitchen and restrooms.
Lortz said the assembly area will host a variety of special events, which will primarily be held from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Small church gatherings also will use the building, primarily on Sundays.
When the meeting hall is not being used for special events, it will be available as a study hall and community gathering place, much like the Oxford University Inklings was with frequent meetings of creative writers and lovers of imaginative literature who gathered for readings and criticism of their own work, and for and for general conversation.
Inklings in Pleasanton will be open from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily. In addition to selling coffee and tea drinks, the coffee shop will offer pastries and snacks. Outdoor cooking equipment also will be placed in the adjoining 71-car parking lot for use during occasional outdoor events.