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Even with PLCB privatization plan, will we get what we want?

We always imagined that once the state left behind the Temperance Movement and got past the 1930s – aka liquor store privatization – that would lead to those small, independent wine shops you see in every other great city in the country.

Like maybe here, for instance:

But buried deep in the Inquirer’s story yesterday, which reported that a state rep. had formally introduced Gov. Corbett’s plan, we found this troubling nugget:

Groceries could sell carryout beer and wine – though critics have argued that the price for such licenses would run so high that it would edge out mom-and-pop entrepreneurs.

Here’s some more details from a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Story from January:

An unlimited number of licenses would allow other stores to sell beer or wine for an annual fee. Convenience stores and pharmacies could buy a license for $15,000 a year. Grocery store licenses would cost $25,000 to $30,000. Big box stores, such as Wal-Mart or Costco, would pay $35,000 annually.

Beer distributors could buy an “enhanced” distributor license for a one-time fee of $150,000. Restaurants or hotels could sell 30-packs of beer for a $5,000 annual fee.

So, does that leave room for wine shops to open on the Avenue? Presumably they would have to pay the $15,000.

OK, Corbett. This is an economic development opportunity here. Let’s make things a bit easier for small owners to open up. Maybe base the fee on square footage?



3 Responses to Even with PLCB privatization plan, will we get what we want?

  1. Aaron B March 7, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    There are very few things that Corbett and I agree on.

    While I support loosening restrictions around alcohol sales, I have 100% confidence in Corbett’s ability to implement an even worse system.

  2. Albert Brooks March 7, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

    it is based on square footage to an extent. Stores over 15,000 sq ft pay more then stores of under 15,000 but i do see your point. Sorry to say that it would also open up any rag-tag space that had the money if they based totally on sq footage. However that is for a liquor license, if all you want is a beer/wine license then there will be thousands of those available, just pay for the license fee which I believe is $10K but don’t quote me on that.

  3. RMD March 8, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    It is my dream to have a boutique wine store on the avenue! I was in NYC last weekend and walked past several and then thought about dealing with the crappy PLCB in PA. I’m glad they’re fixing up some of the stores here, but at the same time, they’re cookie cutters of each other and pushing a lot of wine that’s pretty much branded for bachelorette parties. Boo.

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