Wawa sells beer in Quakertown and will expand into Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Wawa’s beer offerings expand in Bucks County as the company’s presence in the liquor market continues to grow in Pennsylvania.
Wawa started selling beer in 2019 and slowly expanded its locations with liquor licenses.
Wawa at 600 N. West End Boulevard in Richland currently offers beer. Wawa stores set to open this summer at 639 E Lincoln Highway in Middletown and off Bristol-Oxford Valley Road in Bristol Township have safe licenses and will open with beer sales.
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Wawa at 3659 N Easton Road in Doylestown is pending approval for a license, according to data from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.
Wawa’s licenses fall under the “Restaurant (Liquor)” category and an establishment must have space available in its store in order to sell these products, which existing Wawa stores will have to implement.
Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens told the Philadelphia Business Journal that there will be 10 new beer-selling Wawa stores planned in Pennsylvania in 2022.
A Wawa spokesperson could not be reached for additional comment.
Shawn Kelly, press secretary for the PA Liquor Control Board, said that since the enactment of Law 39 of 2016, “we have seen an increase in the number of grocery stores and convenience stores that have thought about acquiring liquor licenses” .
Law 39 amended more than 35 sections of the state liquor code and allowed supermarkets, restaurants, and hotels to sell wine and malt/brewed beverages.
Wawa already sells beer in stores in Virginia, Delaware, New York and Florida.
How Wawa can apply for liquor licenses
While convenience stores of all types may go through this process to sell beer and some wines, there are regulations an establishment should be aware of.
“Over the years, the state legislature and the governor have decided that they need to put in place a quota that limits the number of retail liquor licenses available, and by retail licenses I mean something like a restaurant, bar, convenience store, grocery store, hotel, things along those lines,” Kelly said. “If a potential retail license holder wants to acquire a liquor license, they must acquire one that is already on the market.
“Because some counties have significantly more liquor licenses than the state quota currently allows, new retail licenses cannot be issued in those counties,” Kelly said.
Purchasing a license from another company is always an option for stores like Wawa as long as they are within county lines, as existing licenses are not removed by the PLCB until they are always valid.
Fresh new licenses may be awarded to bidders at auctions, which occur after a county’s license is not renewed or disappears for some particular reason. It is then banked and resuscitated by the management to be available again.
“If you wish to transfer a liquor retail license from one municipality to another, you will likely need to first approach the governing body of the receiving municipality for permission,” said Kelly. “So if you’re a convenience store or a grocery store and you want a license and you want to transfer it to a municipality, the municipality has to approve it in the form of a resolution or an ordinance and it has to be attached to your application. at the liquor board.