Sheetz Inc. has once again won the right to sell beer at its Convenience Restaurant in Altoona, Pa., after this Wednesday’s ruling by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB).
“We are happy that the PLCB has decided to grant Sheetz the right to sell beer at our Altoona Convenience Restaurant,” said Stan Sheetz, president and CEO of Sheetz Inc. “While we maintain that Pennsylvania’s beer laws must be reformed, this decision allows us to follow today’s state law while serving our customers who wish to buy beer at Sheetz.”
In 2004, the PLCB granted Sheetz an E-license to sell beer at its Convenience Restaurant at 1915 Pleasant Valley Boulevard in Altoona. At that time, the PLCB indicated Sheetz did not need to sell beer for on-premise consumption. However, the Malt Beverage Distributors Association (MBDA) filed suit to stop the sales, and the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court revoked the company’s beer license, requiring it to allow customers to drink on premise, at the store.
In response, Sheetz re-applied stating that they would allow for on-premise consumption at the Altoona location. “Today’s ruling is the end of that process, but not the end of the battle,” Sheetz said.
“Pennsylvania remains one of a few states that continue to operate under a Prohibition-era set of laws, while millions of people across the United States enjoy the freedom and convenience of purchasing alcohol in convenience and grocery stores,” Sheetz said. “Granting this same freedom to the residents of the Commonwealth is long overdue, and we urge our lawmakers to see past state lines and special interest groups and modernize our beer laws.”
Sheetz Inc. continues to support Senate Bill 1300, sponsored by Senator John Rafferty (R-44) that will reform the state’s beer laws. More information on the company’s position can be found at www.freemybeer.com.
The PLCB ruling affects only the Convenience Restaurant on Pleasant Valley Boulevard. Sheetz is hoping to resume beer sales there as soon as possible.
Sheetz Inc. Vice President and General Counsel Michael Cortez told the Altoona Mirror that sales could resume in days or weeks, depending on conditions the PLCB places on the license. Beer can’t be sold until a final inspection and approval by the PLCB, agency spokeswoman Stacey Witalec added.
The Malt Beverage Distributors Association of Pennsylvania plans to appeal the ruling. ”The Malt Beverage Distributors Association has argued at every turn in this process. Their goal is to make it as difficult as possible for people in Pennsylvania to buy beer at convenient locations. They will continue to do that until they lose,” Cortez told the Altoona Mirror.