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College Township Approves Liquor License for Rebuilt Sheetz

by on July 19, 2019 5:16 PM

The newly rebuilt Sheetz at the intersection of Shiloh Road and Benner Pike will sell beer and wine when it opens.

College Township Council on Thursday approved an inter-municipal liquor license transfer for the convenience store at 765 Benner Pike. The license is being transferred from the Hofbrau in Bellefonte and Sheetz will request a wine expanded permit from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for the ability to sell wine bottles, according to attorney Mark Kozar, whose firm, Flaherty & O'Hara, represents Sheetz on liquor license applications.

Pennsylvania's liquor code requires approval from the receiving municipality in cases of inter-municipal license transfers before gaining approval from the Liquor Control Board.

Sheetz public relations manager Nick Ruffner said that as of now the projected opening date for the rebuilt Sheetz is Aug. 22. The 16-year-old, 4,700 square foot store at the location closed in March was completely demolished to be replaced with a new 6,077 square foot building.

It will be the first Sheetz in the State College area with a drive-through. The store also will have 14 gas pumps and 43 parking spaces.

The new store will have an expanded dining area with seating for 30, as required by the PLCB to sell beer and wine. As he has noted at previous liquor license transfer hearings around the area, Kozar said Sheetz has no desire to sell beer or wine for consumption on premises but is required by law to do so.

"Sheetz would prefer not to sell beer for on-premise consumption, but the PLCB said you can't do that. You have to at least offer beer for on-premise consumption," Kozar said, adding that beer available for consumption in the store is limited, not advertised and "not a substantial part of the business." 

All beer to go will be stored in a walk-in cooler and will be sold 7 a.m to 1:45 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m.-1:45 a.m. on Sundays. Wine sales are required by law to cease at 11 p.m. nightly.

All employees receive the state's Responsible Alcohol Management Program training and the national TiPS alcohol server training. Alcohol sales are only at designated registers and all people in a group who approach the register for alcohol sales are carded using a card scanner. Security cameras cover the interior and exterior of the store and are connected to a security operations center, which employees can contact if there is an issue.

The store will be the seventh in Centre County licensed to sell beer and wine. Earlier this year College Township approved a license transfer to the Southridge Plaza store along South Atherton Street, where alcohol sales are pending a seating addition.

Beer and wine also are sold at three Sheetz stores in Patton Township — 1780 N. Atherton St., 101 Valley Vista Drive and 223 Colonnade Boulevard — as well as at 129 S. Pugh St. in State College and 106 Savannah Lane, off Route 45 in Centre Hall. 

Among the other Centre County Sheetz, the store at 2850 Benner Pike in Benner Township does not sell beer and wine and the PLCB   denied an application for a liquor license transfer to the Wingate store after an objection by Bald Eagle Area School District. Sheetz appealed that decision and the case is still ongoing, according to court documents. 

Sheetz is also planning to build a new store on a portion of the former Harner Farm property off West College Avenue in Ferguson Township. Land development plans for the store are pending approval.

The Altoona-based convenience store chain has more than 600 stores in six states, the majority of which sell beer and wine. Kozar said 161 of the company's Pennsylvania stores sell alcohol, with 22 applications pending.

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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