By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia City Council will take a third crack at regulating small corner stores that sell alcohol.

The stores are known as “Stop-n-Go’s” and they simply don’t exist in many areas of the city.

But in lower-income communities, they can be a bane: dispensing alcohol by the drink, through a state law that allows liquor sales in food establishments.

“Potato chips is not food,” said Councilwoman Maria Quinones Sanchez.

She has introduced a bill that would subject stores licensed to sell alcohol by the state as “food establishments” to the same health rules as restaurants, even adding some rules about preparation space and seating capacity that are usually absent from stop n go’s.

“We need clearer regulations and legislation to help us enforce the loopholes that have created some of these problem locations,” said Sanchez.

Council has previously held hearings and called for auditing liquor sales at the stores for tax purposes. Local state legislators are also looking at ways to stop liquor sales at the stores.

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