Good booze news: Pa. liquor stores are ramping up curbside pickup

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is more than tripling the number of stores offering curbside pickup Monday.

Wine and Spirits store in Philadelphia

A pedestrian walks past a boarded up Wine and Spirits store in Philadelphia, Friday, March 20, 2020. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

Are you on the front lines of the coronavirus? Help us report on the pandemic.

A week after launching curbside pick-up at 176 of its stores, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is expanding the number of locations offering this service to 565, starting Monday.

The procedure for placing an order remains the same: Call ahead to your local Wine & Spirits store and queue up at the appointed time to receive your order of up to six bottles. Orders will be taken on a first call, first served basis, with phones opening at 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

Each location can handle between 50 to 100 orders a day.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

“We hope that adding hundreds more locations for curbside pickup will help us get through this surge of demand for wine and spirits,” said PLCB Chairman Tim Holden, asking customers to “be patient.”

For a full list of stores offering curbside pickup by county, click here.

State-run liquor stores shut down in mid-March, but the PLCB began taking online orders on April 1. Demand for both online orders and pick-ups have overwhelmed the systems, to the frustration of thirsty consumers. In the first round of curbside pickup locations, $3.64 million in booze was sold in the first four days.

“We acknowledge that Pennsylvanians are frustrated with busy signals and want broader access to wine and spirit,” said Holden. “We’ve made improvements to process orders faster, expand the hours we take orders by phone, and be more flexible in scheduling pickups, even the same day, if pickup appointments are available.”

Alcohol is also available for sale directly from breweries, wineries and distilleries, as well as restaurants offering takeout orders, grocery stores and beer distributors.

One thing that’s not coming any time soon is in-store shopping. The board said it “is not considering reopening stores to the public at this time,” according to a recent press release.

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal