Mapping: Grocery and convenience stores in Pa. where you can buy beer (and soon, wine!)

    The grocery and convenience stores in Pa. where you can buy beer (and soon

    The grocery and convenience stores in Pa. where you can buy beer (and soon

    Pennsylvania is finally on the verge of entering the buy-wine-at-the-grocery-store modern world.

    Last week, Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation that updated Pennsylvania’s notoriously restrictive alcohol laws. Soon, grocery and convenience stores (as well as hotels) with restaurant liquor licenses will be allowed to apply for an expanded license to sell up to four bottles of wine (to go) per person, in addition to the beer that they’re currently allowed to sell. It’s arguably the greatest change in Pa. liquor law since Prohibition ended; it follows last year’s decision to allow the sale of 12-packs at beer distributors.

    While the law won’t go into effect until early August, we were curious about where we’d eventually be able to buy a bottle of Merlot with a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos.

    Above is a non-exhaustive, but pretty thorough map of the grocery and convenience stores that will be capable of immediately applying for an expanded license.

    Why is this a non-exhaustive list?

    Although the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board maintains a master list of all liquor licenses online, the idiosyncrasies of their licensing system means that there is no separate list of the grocery/convenience stores; as previously stated, they actually operate under restaurant licenses — of which there are more than 12,000. (Fun fact: Pizza Hut is the holder of the most restaurant liquor licenses in the state!)

    Over the past few years, however, the PLCB started keeping its own, internal list of liquor licenses that have an interior connection to another business, which includes grocery stores and convenience stores. 

    The list contains some expired licenses (like Marty’s Market in Pittsburgh’s Strip District) and some licenses that are currently in “safekeeping” status, meaning they’re not currently selling beer. I culled them out as best I could.

    So, not exhaustive, but pretty thorough. That being said, if you see an establishment that’s missing, we’d love to add it. Post in the comments, or email me directly at pdoyle@wesa.fm.

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