Wawa’s continued expansion to sell wine and beer in its stores will continue in Falls Township.
The Falls Township Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 Monday night to approve an intermunicipal liquor license transfer requested by Wawa. The license will be transferred to Falls Township from Springfield Township in Upper Bucks County.
The supervisors’ approval forwards the request to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board who will review the transfer request.
The new Fairless Hills Mall Wawa at 500 Lincoln Highway at the corner of Arleans Avenue and the Lincoln Highway is slated to open in early 2023 and wants to sell beer and wine, as part of a a new initiative from the popular private convenience store. chain.
Ellen Freeman, the attorney representing Wawa, said the company has 15 stores in Pennsylvania that sell beer and wine. She noted that others were coming in and they had been operating the same way in other states for years.
Nearby, the new store along the East Lincoln Highway in Middletown Township sells beer and wine and the locations under construction on Bristol-Oxford Valley Road in Bristol Township will sell beer and wine.
All consumers who buy alcohol in Wawa are carded, Freeman said. She added that Wawa uses a card scanner transaction gadget to ensure the identification is genuine.
Wawa is limited to selling two six-packs and four standard bottles of wine per customer at the store, Freeman said.
The facility will offer a dining room that can accommodate up to 30 patrons at a time, five cooler doors, and beer and wine shelves, Freeman said.
By law, Wawa must allow customers to consume two 12-ounce cans of beer and one 8-ounce glass of wine in the store’s seating area. However, the likelihood of this happening is low as Wawa will not encourage alcohol consumption on site.
Bob Farkas, a resident close to the location, said selling beer and wine at the new Wawa “is not necessary”. He complained that there were already discarded beer bottles in the area.
Freeman said his view was “just an opinion.”
Farkas and another resident also raised traffic concerns with the addition of Wawa, but those concerns were unrelated to the liquor license.
Resident Toni Batiste said she was worried about drunk driving after leaving Wawa. She was also concerned about the proximity of the beer and wine sale to the child-centric Funzilla amusement center, which is across the parking lot.
“Let’s think about this one,” she said.
Supervisor John Palmer said he recently visited a convenience store near Harrisburg that sold beer and wine. He said he found the model practical.
“I haven’t seen any ongoing abuse,” Palmer said. “I don’t see how we can restrict capitalism when it’s already present throughout our community.”
Supervisor Brian Galloway pointed out that Giant Food Store and ShopRite have a similar beer and wine section and no issues have been reported.
Supervisory Vice President Jeff Boraski was the only one not voting and said he shared some residents’ concerns about the liquor license transfer.
“I don’t like them coming back to us after we’ve already approved this business,” Boraski said of Wawa requesting the transfer after their building plans had already been approved.
In other cases, supervisors passed a resolution opposing any sale of Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority assets to Aqua Pennsylvania. Although the case has already been called off, the supervisors wanted to make their opinion known.
The resolution called any sale “unconscionable” and noted that a sale of the public system to a for-profit company would have “long-term financial impacts” due to rate increases.
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