SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. — Three months after getting the state's approval to sell beer at its new store here, Sheetz Inc. has been given the greenlight by a county judge.
Gary Zimmerman, assistant vice president and legal counsel for Sheetz, told Penn Live customers will be able to purchase beer at the store at 359 E. King St. as early as Friday afternoon.
Cumberland County Judge Kevin Hess ruled Sheetz followed Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (LCB) rules when applying for its restaurant license and created two separate entities in the store — a convenience store and a restaurant.
The LCB approved the retailer's application for a restaurant license to sell six-packs of beer at the Shippensburg store in July. Sheetz began selling beer at the store on July 25; however, the retailer was forced to shut down beer sales on Aug. 6 after the Civic Club of Shippensburg appealed the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's approval, as CSNews Online previously reported.
The Civic Club, which is located within a block of the store, claimed that the state Liquor Code does not provide "discretion on the part of the board to allow transfers to places, properties or locations which sell gasoline."
Judge Hess ruled that because the Sheetz store has two separate sides of its business — one devoted to restaurant/ beer sales and the other side a convenience store with gasoline sales — the store is permitted to sell beer.
However, the Malt Beverage Distributors Association of Pennsylvania has filed an appeal through the Commonwealth Court which Zimmerman said is expected to move forward, the news outlet reported.
He said the decision in Cumberland County shows the courts agree with the LCB's interpretation of the liquor code.
"For us, that's important because we try and set this up to follow the rules. We are developing our stores in a way the LCB has interpreted their rules," Zimmerman told Penn Live.
Altoona, Pa.-based Sheetz Inc. operates more than 437 convenience stores throughout six states: Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and North Carolina.