No McDonald’s? No Dunkin’ Donuts?
Not in this Florida beach town, which wants to put a temporary stop to the march of chain stores and restaurants.
Holmes Beach, on the Gulf Coast, wants to keep its character, and the plans for a new national ice cream-doughnut shop set things off.
“We have a precious, strange little island here and part of its attraction for everyone is that it’s Old Florida,” Holmes Beach Commissioner Jean Peelen told the Bradenton Herald over the summer. “There’s not a McDonald’s on every corner, there’s not a Burger King on every corner, so it was really distressing to hear that, without any notice to us, that these stores are coming in.”
A tentative vote for the eight-month moratorium, which was unanimous, came Tuesday night.
Chains want to come to town because Holmes Beach, on popular Ana Maria Island, is now more of a year-round vacation spot, leaders say.
Business people are concerned, especially a small ice cream shop near where a Baskin-Robbins is planned.
“The mom and pop shops; that’s how we’ve been owned on the island for years, and that’s what people respect about Anna Maria Island,” Chet Zarzycki, owner of Holy Cow Ice Cream and Gifts, told the Bradenton Herald earlier this year. “This opens up the floodgates and it makes you ask, ‘What’s next?’ ”