Entertainment Venue at Old Publix Building Turned Town

PANAMA CITY BEACH - Panama City Beach Council members said "No" Wednesday to plans for an entertainment venue in the vacant Publix supermarket on Middle Beach Road.

Chris Pitts was hoping to open the combination restaurant, musical performance and convention space called Meridian Live.

Panama City Beach City Hall unanimously voted to deny a permit for the project Wednesday afternoon.

Lou Carroll a Panama City Beach resident said, "The communities involved are very happy that the commission voted it down."

Pitts said, "We did get a lot of positive things from the city council. I think they all like the idea. They all liked our House of Blues concept that we are trying to bring here. I think the concern is still that unused convention meeting space."

The fear is Pitts could use that space to stage concerts.

"When you're bringing in another venue that's possibly going to be bringing in 3,000 people to the special events it just puts more impact in that area," said David Jordan, PCB Fire Inspector.

Despite the rejection, Pitts says he isn't ready to throw in the towel.

Pitts looking at other locations, some outside of Panama City Beach.