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Pa. High Court OKs Beer Sales At Eat-In Supermarkets

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Pennsylvania’s highest court has upheld the right of grocery stores and supermarkets that have restaurants within them to sell beer.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court reviewed a case involving the Malt Beverage Distributors Association, which contended that the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board erred by granting beer-selling licenses to five restaurants located within Wegman’s supermarkets.

The association claimed that the licenses violated state law and would effectively expand the sale of beer to supermarkets, thereby infringing on beer distributors’ market niche.

But the high court says the restaurants predate the applications for a liquor license, and are vastly larger and more sophisticated than minimum requirements specified in state law.

The state Supreme Court, in its opinion, acknowledges that its ruling may open the door for large retailers to secure liquor licenses for restaurants on their premises, but notes that the legislature can remedy that situation if it chooses.

Reported by KYW Harrisburg Bureau chief Tony Romeo.

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