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Wawa Makes Bid to Sell Beer in Pa.

CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Pa. —In its first bid in 12 years to sell alcohol in Pennsylvania, leaders at convenience-store retailer Wawa Inc. appear to be prepared to jump through the hoops established by the state to enter the beer-sales market there, including the development of a Wild Goose Cafe foodservice concept that would allow for drinking a beer inside the store.

According to multiple reports, Wawa has requested a permit that would allow its Naamens Creek Store–southwest of Philadelphia–to sell up to two six-packs of beer to go, and for eat-in customers to drink only one bottle or can of beer while seated in the café area of the store.

To accommodate Pennsylvania’s strict liquor code, Wawa would create a separate 400-square-foot space within the store for beer sales and consumption, according to a Main Line Media News report, including a cooler, seating for 30 and a dedicated register. A four-foot-high wall identifying the area as the Wild Goose Café would divide it from the remainder of the store. Customers would access the eatery from a portion of the main entrance and a 10-foot opening near the register.

The store would be open 24 hours a day, and the liquor license would permit beer sales from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday.

The retailer would lock the beer cooler during off-hours. Employees would receive instruction in Responsible Alcohol Management Training. Employees 18 and over would be permitted to operate the beer-area register, and those 21 and over could stock the cooler. Each shift would employ a beer manager.

“We would be as vigilant with our training as we are with our tobacco sales program. It is very important to us, and if an employee did not follow the rules and sold beer to a minor, he or she would be terminated,” Wawa representative Susan Bratton told Main Line Media News

“For now, we view this as a single-store product expansion,” company spokesperson Lori Bruce told The Deleware County Daily Times. “We may look to expand the offering depending on our experience at this store and the licensing requirements in the communities and states we serve.”

The Concord Township Board of Supervisors has scheduled a hearing on the matter for Tuesday evening. The decision would be limited to the Delaware County location; it also would require state approval.

Steve Holtz


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