June 25, 2008

Weis Markets Wants to Pack Six Packs in Spring Township

By Mike Urban, Reading Eagle, Pa.

Jun. 25--Weis Markets Inc. has applied to Spring Township to begin selling beer in its store in the Broadcasting Square Shopping Center.

Both the township and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board would need to approve the transfer of a state liquor license to the Weis store, offi -- cials said Tuesday.

If approved, the supermarket would be the first in Berks County to sell beer, although there are state liquor stores housed within Redner's Warehouse Markets Inc. stores in Kenhorst and Hamburg.

The Spring supervisors agreed Monday to hold a public hearing on the matter, but did not comment on the request. They tentatively scheduled the meeting for July 14 at 7 p.m., before the supervisors meeting.

If approved for the license, the store would be able to sell takeout six-packs of beer. The store also would be permitted to sell individual beers to those eating in its cafe area.

Weis officials would not comment Tuesday.

Several Pennsylvania supermarkets and convenience stores that let shoppers dine in have received liquor licenses in recent years.

That allows one-stop shopping for customers, who often also bank, rent videos, purchase gas and take care of other business at those stores.

Weis already has liquor licenses for its stores in Tannersville, Monroe County, and Schnecksville, Lehigh County, and has applied for a license for its store in Dallas, Luzerne County. The Weis store in Sunbury also plans to sell beer.

Trade groups have resisted the sale of beer in Pennsylvania supermarkets and convenience stores.

The Malt Beverage Distributors Association of Pennsylvania sued the PLCB for allowing Sheetz Inc. and Wegmans Food Markets Inc. stores to sell beer.

The association won the Sheetz case in Commonwealth Court, but the PLCB appealed the case to the state Supreme Court, where a ruling is pending.

The Wegmans case has yet to be heard in Commonwealth Court.


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