Customers have the option to mix and match into a six pack at the Beer Cafe in the West Manchester Township Weis Markets on Friday, June 19, 2015.
(North Lebanon Township) -- The North Lebanon Township Board of Supervisors did not approve a request from Weis Markets Inc. of Sunbury, Pa., to approve a liquor license transfer from a restaurant in Lebanon to its store located at 1651 E. Cumberland Street in North Lebanon Township, where the company would like to open a beer café.
Weis Markets is required by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to request approval from the municipality where the license if the population of that municipality is not great enough to warrant the issuance of a new license. The supervisors stopped their regular meeting to conduct a public hearing to review the liquor license transfer request.
Supervisor Dick Miller expressed his disapproval of the transfer during the public hearing. Board chairman Ed Brensinger made a motion to allow the transfer by Weis. Supervisor Bruce Sattazahn said, "I have only heard residents speak against this and have heard none speak in favor of it. For that reason I can not second the motion."
Sattazahn and Miller then voted in favor of a resolution to reject the Weis request.
The license Weis is requesting would also allow the café to sell a maximum of 192 ounces of beer per customer for take-out. Getting approval from the township is the first step in the process for Weis to have its request approved by the state Liquor Control Board.
David Gill, director of architecture for Weis said the license would allow the café to also serve wine and liquor but it only plans to serve bottled beer, including micro-brews.
He said Weis has a self-imposed policy to serve customers only two alcoholic beverages for consumption on premises.
Gill said the café would offer a level of convenience for its customers. He said that the Weis Market in Lititz has been approved to sell alcohol. If approved for the license transfer the Weis Market would be the first grocery store in the county to offer the sale of alcohol.
Resident John Resanovich asked Gill what control the store would have in who would be served alcohol. Gill said all employees working in the café would have RAMP certification. The Responsible Alcohol Management Program is a certification is a voluntary program available to owners and sellers of alcohol.
Harriet Kutz, wife of the Rev. Mark Kutz of Calvary Church, located in the township, said she opposes any grocery store being approved in the township to sell alcohol because of her concern for the youth of the community.
"I appreciate, as an American, the large choice of items available to me in a grocery store, but I don't need a choice of alcohol at a grocery store. I am the neighbor of a person who was killed by a drunk driver. Where does it stop? I respect the supervisors to make some kind of a stand. What point do you guys have enough of the liquor licenses you allow in the township?"
Dawn Hawkins said, "I trust you, the supervisors, will do what is best for the township. It sounds like we have enough liquor licenses. I don't think we need anymore. I am opposed to it. You have the final say, but I'll support you."
Miller said he teaches a highway safety driving program for people who have been arrested for drunk driving.
"I've seen over my career the horrors of drunk driving," said Miller. " If you have two drinks your driving is impacted by the consumption of the alcohol and you should not be driving thereafter. My reaction is that this township has enough issues with alcohol. I would not want to see any more licensing."
Miller said he is aware there are other establishments where alcohol can be consumed in the township, but they were approved before his tenure on the board.
According to township solicitor Fred Wolf, Weis Markets can not continue with its request for the liquor license transfer. It does have the right to appeal the decision to the courts.
This article comes to us through a partnership between Lebanon Daily News and WITF.
Support for WITF is provided by:
Support for WITF is provided by: