Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The quote of the week on beer in Wawa

It's not exactly a secret that I am not the biggest fan of the way Pennsylvania goes about selling booze.

In fact, I have been at times described as one of the state's leading proponents of privatizing the whole system, blowing up the LCB and getting Pa. out of the booze business, turning it over to private enterprise, which can do it better, cheaper and with a lot more convenience for consumers.

That likely is still somewhere in the future.

For now, we have to be satisfied with taking baby steps.

So, yes, I was among those cheering last week when Wawa entered the beer market - at least at one store, their newly renovated site at Naamans Creek Road and Route 202 out in Concord.

But the quote of the week goes to Delco state Sen. Tom Killion, R-9, also a vocal proponent of privatization.

Something I wrote about last week did not escape Killion's notice either.

That is the idea of just how "convenient" this new age of beer in a convenience store actually is.

That's because state regulations required for this type of restaurant license mandate the establishment have a seating area for 30 people. There is actually a wall that separates the area selling beer from the rest of the store. You have to get your beer - and pay for it - there, separate from your other purchases. Real convenient, huh?

Wawa incorporated this space into this redesign of their Concord store and probably why they are not rushing to put beer coolers in more of their stores. For now, they are only saying this is the only store where they plan to have beer sales.

Killion is vowing to continue the push for full privatization in the state.

In his remarks, the senator thanked Wawa for "helping drag Pennsylvania into the 21st century when it comes to alcohol sales." He noted that both he and state Rep. Steve Barrar, R-160, who represents Concord, voted for a privatization bill that actually passed the state House before dying in the Senate.

Then came the line of the week:

"I do think it's crazy that you have to go to a separate register, have a wall and 30 seats in order to serve alcohol. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, LCB, let's tear down this wall."

Couldn't have said it any better myself, senator.

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