by Damon Boughamer
Public Radio Capitol News, serving Pennsylvania
Harrisburg, Penna. (PRCN, 10 April 2007) – It’s not clear when the state Supreme Court will rule on beer sales appeals filed by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
A Sheetz in Altoona became the first hybrid gas station and restaurant in the state to sell beer when the board awarded it a license.
But the state’s administrative Commonwealth Court said that the process had been flawed, and sales have been halted.
The liquor board had already asked the Supreme Court to consider the case. Now it’s asking the court to weigh in on the temporary sales freeze before deciding whether to address the broader issue.
Board spokeswoman Dawn Petrosky says this was a necessary step.
"It was our choice to appeal – to file a motion to the Supreme Court – because of the ramifications of the Commonwealth Court decision on not only Sheetz, in this matter, but also the over 500 ‘E’ licensees in the state of Pennsylvania – and actually, potentially, all other types of license holders, such as restaurants and hotels," Petrosky says.
Petrosky notes that – whether it’s the legislature or the courts – someone has to make it clear whether allowing on-premises alcohol consumption for these licensees is something that’s simply permitted or something that’s required.