HARRISBURG — Dozens of businesses holding Pennsylvania restaurant or hotel liquor licenses applied Monday for permits allowing them to also sell wine to go.
It was the first day the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board accepted applications under an expansion of alcohol sales approved earlier in the year by the General Assembly and Gov. Tom Wolf.
The law, signed in June, expands the roster of potential wine vendors to include about 10,000 holders of restaurant licenses — including more than 300 grocery and convenience stores currently allowed to sell beer — and about 1,200 holders of hotel licenses, according to the LCB.
As of 5 p.m. Monday, a spokeswoman for the Liquor Control Board said, the agency had received applications from 53 restaurant and hotel license holders for expanded wine permits, which would allow them to sell up to three liters of wine to go per transaction. The board had received 33 applications for new direct wine shipper licenses, which would allow wine producers to ship up to 36 cases of wine per year to a Pennsylvania resident for personal use.
Customers could see wine-to-go at some private businesses this month, the agency said in a press release, although it said that permit-holders who want to sell large quantities of wine or types the state does not already stock may have to wait longer to receive those products. The LCB aims to begin shipping wine to businesses intending to sell large volumes of wine to go around October.
David McCorkle, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, said he expects “just about all of” the grocery and convenience stores with licenses to sell beer will be interested in applying to also sell wine.
Melissa Bova, director of government affairs for the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association, said some members have been applying even though the association wants changes to parts of the law that it considers difficult for restaurants.
Karen Langley: email@example.com or 717-787-2141 or on Twitter @karen_langley.
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