Why Can’t All Wawa’s Sell Beer?

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One Wawa in Pennsylvania will soon sell beer, in Chadd’s Ford.

Acme, Whole Foods and Wegmans already have approval to sell beer in the area.

A decision is expected on July 21.

Wawa doesn’t sell beer in Pennsylvania, but does in Virginia and Florida.

Wawa doesn’t abstain from selling beer here because the Pennsylvania market can’t support it. Pennsylvanians would love to buy beer at Wawa. It’s just the dumb cap on liquor licenses that’s holding them back from full greatness.

It’s very hard to imagine a scenario where whatever economic downside would supposedly come from liquor license prices dipping due isn’t outweighed by the economic benefits of all Wawas selling beer.

So I’m glad to see that the Democrats are finally waking up to idea that adding more ‘R’ licenses helps their constituents, and that high prices for licenses are bad for the restaurant economy in the kinds of places they represent–mostly cities:

Some of Wolf’s Democrat allies in the legislature who green-lighted this latest discussion have also said it could be combined with provisions to add new ‘R’ licenses – which are fully allocated in many counties – statewide.

That process would start, they said, with a county-by-county study of the licenses’ fair market value. When those studies are done, added licenses could be made available by auction and awarded to any buyer who is willing to at least meet the fair market value.

That provision, the Democrat sources said, is intended to create room for more grocers to get licenses without diminishing their value for existing licensees or blocking new restaurants from entering the market.

As a sidebar, I’m for the state store privatization bill and think it would be a no-brainer for Tom Wolf to trade his signature on that bill for a severance tax to fund education.

It would also be a no-brainer for urban and suburban Democrats, whose voters would benefit on balance from the types of new wine and spirits stores that would open, to support that horse trade when the time comes, to get the budget over the line before the end of the year.

This entry was posted in Economy, Issues.

4 Responses to Why Can’t All Wawa’s Sell Beer?

  1. Given the choice of doing what over 40 years of scientific polling has shown, that the citizens don’t want the state store system, or keeping the unions happy I think it is a pretty safe bet which way the democratic legislators will vote and it ain’t with the citizens.

  2. Pingback: 7/3 Morning Buzz | PoliticsPA

  3. phillydem says:

    For perspective, I live in a deckining population rust belt town in western Pa now. Within about a 2 mile radius of my house are: at least 8 bars, a sports bar, a craft beer pub, a brewpub, a craft wine eatery and 3 beer distributors.

    • On the opposite side of the coin I live in a growing part of PA and there is 1 pizza place I can buy an overpriced 6 pack in a 2 mile radius. I have to get to a 7 mile radius before i get that first bar and beer distributor and they are not near each other either.