Weis proposes to sell beer in Ephrata store

By on July 30, 2014

Weis Markets plans to open a Beer Café restaurant and take-out beer section inside its Ephrata store on Route 272.!!!Weis

The 30-seat restaurant would be only the second supermarket in Lancaster County to sell beer and the 21st operated by Sunbury, Pa.-based Weis Markets, said Dennis Curtin, Weis spokesman.

The Beer Café would be included in an overall store remodel “which we expect to start in the very near future,” Curtin said.

Weis’ development plans, including its application for an inter-municipal liquor license transfer were discussed at the Ephrata Development Activities Committee on Monday.

But the issue remains within the committee which took no action Monday because it had no quorum.

State law requires local approval for an inter-municipal transfer of a liquor license from Columbia, Lancaster County. The licenses is currently designated as in “safekeeping” meaning it is current but not in operation.

According to data on the PLCB website, the license was formerly designated to the Pizza Hut at 846 Lancaster Ave. in Columbia.

Susan Rowe, committee chairwoman, said committee members would discuss the transfer and take action on it during Ephrata Borough Council’s work session Aug. 4.

“The committee will determine if it wants to bring it before full council for a vote at that time,” Rowe said.

If the committee recommends moving it forward, council will hold a public hearing before it votes on it at the regular meeting on Aug. 11.

To sell beer, supermarkets must find and purchase existing restaurant liquor licenses. The law requires cafe seating and separate cash registers which can ring up only six and 12-packs of beer as well as the larger, 22-ounce bottles.

Weis Markets in Lititz became the first supermarket in the county to sell beer in February. The business, which focuses heavily on craft beer, was well received.

Weis expanded the section only a few weeks after it opened. It increased its beer selection in Lititz from about 300 beers to 428, prompting Weis to broaden beer sales space by up to 30 feet.

Curtin said Weis has been very active in opening Beer Cafés. Over the past two weeks, Weis opened beer cafes in Doylestown and Norristown and announced plans to open one in York County later in the fall.

“We view the cafes as a convenience option for our customers – they appreciate the variety – we offer an excellent selection of craft beers – including Troeg’s, Victory, Stoudts and Lancaster Brewing,” Curtin said.

“They also like the fact that it saves them an extra shopping trip,” he said.

Patrick Burns is senior staff writer for The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455

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