Council approves Weis liquor license request

City Council on Wednesday approved a request by Weis Market to use a liquor license transferred from another Blair County municipality to begin selling beer and wine at its supermarket in Valley View.

The company still needs to obtain approval from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Weis attorney Mark Kozar of Flaherty and O’Hara in Pittsburgh told council.

If Weis obtains PLCB approval, the company would sell beer and wine to go and beer to drink on-site at a cafe to be built within the store, Kozar said.

There would be a dedicated manager for the alcohol sales, Responsible Alcohol Management Program training for the manager and other employees who work in that area of the store, a dedicated cash register for alcohol sales and security cameras focused on the area, according to Kozar.

All alcohol purchasers would be carded, he said.

Sales will cease at midnight.

City solicitor Larry Clapper asked Police Chief Janice Freehling whether she expected the proposed change to cause problems.

“I don’t see that it would be detrimental,” Freehling said.

“It’s not the type of place that people will come and hang out and drink,” Kozar said.

The PLCB would have about three months to approve the request, Kozar said.

While the PLCB is considering the request, workers will be remodeling to create the alcohol sales area, he said.

Sales would likely begin in four or five months, he said.

The Weis Market in Park Hills Plaza already sells alcohol, as do local Giant Eagle and Martin’s stores.

The company bought the restaurant license at a PLCB auction of licenses that were previously revoked, Kozar said.

Act 39 of 2016 permits the PLCB to sell revoked licenses, so they begin generating revenue for the state again, Kozar said.

Kozar didn’t know the identity of the previous license holder.

The restaurant license requires at least 30 seats, food sales and 400 square feet of floor space, Kozar said.

Restaurant liquor licenses began to be used for supermarkets about 10 years ago on the initiative of Wegman’s, Kozar said.

There was a challenge at the time from the Malt Beverage Distributors Association, but the association lost in court, he said.

Weis plans not to avail itself of the privilege of serving wine to drink on-site, he said.

There were no public comments at a hearing on the license request before council’s regular meeting.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.

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