Wawa Moves Closer to Pennsylvania Beer Sales

CONCORD, Pa. — Wawa Inc.'s bid to sell beer at one Pennsylvania store moved one step toward becoming a reality this week.

The Concord Township Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of giving the convenience retailer conditional use to add beer to the cold vault at the Wawa on Naamans Creek Road. The approval includes transferring a restaurant liquor license from an establishment in Folcroft. The board has given similar approval to Acme, Whole Foods and Wegmans, according to The Delaware County Daily Times.

Wawa now needs the greenlight from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB).

The retailer opened the 3,000-square-foot store in 1985 and expanded it to 7,456 square feet with fuel in 2000. That expansion approval included the condition that the product line would be similar to other Wawa c-stores. 

Including beer sales required a re-opening of the initial conditional use hearing, similar to the procedure needed when the store added diesel fuel, the newspaper added.

"This is one of Wawa's largest footprint stores," said Supervisors Chairman Dominic Pileggi. "It is large enough that they do not need an addition for beer sales and one of the conditions of the resolution is that no expansion of the store footprint is permitted in conjunction with beer sales."

Wawa brought the plan to sell beer to the township in June. To meet the mandates of the state liquor code, Wawa will create a separate 400-square-foot space within the store for beer sales and consumption, including a cooler, seating for 30 and dedicated register, according to the newspaper.

In addition, a four-foot-high wall identifying the area as the Wild Goose Café will divide it from the rest of the store. The eatery, to be accessed from a portion of the main entrance and a 10-foot opening near the register, will also be available to those drinking non-alcoholic beverages with their meal, it added.

As The Delaware County Daily Times reported, customers will be permitted to buy 192 ounces, or two six packs, and required to purchase the beer before it is consumed. Individuals will be allowed to drink only one bottle or can per day while seated in the café, a limit that will be reinforced with signage, and may not take open containers outside the store. 

The 12-by-12-inch signs, which the resolution states must be “conspicuously displayed inside and outside the store,” will remind customers of the restrictions.

Although the convenience store is open 24 hours the approval allows beer sales from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.  The cooler will be locked during off-hours and no beer on tap will be permitted.

The hours are the same as Wegmans.

Employees involved in beer sales will be instructed in the PLCB-approved Responsible Alcohol Management Training (RAMP) training, said Wawa representative Susan Bratton during the hearing. The condition was also imposed by the board, the newspaper said.

The supervisors also included a number of additional stipulations:

  • Wawa must conform to all PLCB rules, including any restrictions on beer sales and/or consumption on property where gasoline is dispensed. 
  • No live entertainment will be permitted inside the store, nor is outside live entertainment or music allowed. 
  • No exterior seating will be permitted, additional outside trash cans must be installed.
  • Wawa must provide the board with an exterior security camera plan detailing coverage of the parking lot and areas to the rear of the store. 
  • A log must be maintained of outdoor inspections made by the on-duty manager between 6 p.m.-11 p.m.

In addition, according to the report, Wawa must also make a $15,000 contribution, contingent upon PLCB permit approval, toward traffic and/or pedestrian studies or improvements along the Route 202 corridor or vicinity. The funds will be used at the discretion of the township.

Each of the stipulations will run with the license unless modified by the board. The approval is for beer sales only and should Wawa wish to offer wine or liquor or allow the consumption of more than one beer per customer per day, additional approval would be required, the newspaper added.

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