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Future Shippensburg Sheetz to sell beer

18 July 2012 No Comment

SHIPPENSBURG — A future Shippensburg Sheetz planned to replace the current store at 359 E. King St. will be only the second Sheetz in the state to sell beer.

Ninety-three kinds of beer will be sold at the $3 million store scheduled for completion next summer, said John Campbell, director of operations for Sheetz.

The facility will act primarily as a restaurant and will include a seating area for 37 people. All beer will be sold in the quantities of single cans and bottles, six packs and 12 packs displayed in the restaurant area in a beer-only cooler called a Beer Cave, Campbell said.

Up to two singles can be consumed in the seating area only, and up to 12 singles, two six packs or one 12 pack can be carried out at a time. Singles must be unopened to be carried out. All customers buying beer will be asked for identification, regardless if one is clearly of age, he said.

The development came about this week when Shippensburg Borough Council voted 4-1 to adopt a resolution allowing the transfer of a restaurant liquor license from Hampden Township in Cumberland County to the borough. The Pennsylvania Liquor Board will need to approve the resolution too, but the state liquor code permits restaurant liquor licenses to be transferred between municipalities in the same county.

Council held a public hearing on the topic in which Campbell presented details of the arrangement.

Shippensburg Police Chief Fred Scott joined Shippensburg Township Supervisor Steve Oldt, Maxie’s Bar owner Craig Hottenstein and a nearby resident as members of the public opposed to the plan. Scott’s main issue was security. He said 161 police incidents happened at the current Sheetz in 2011, and added that beer sales would increase that number.

Scott’s input blew open the security issue, with most of council making some comment on that aspect. The general consensus was that Sheetz should have two security guards working during the hours when beer will be sold, 7 a.m. to 1:45 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 1:45 a.m. Sunday.

Sheetz eventually compromised, with Stan Wolowski, attorney for Sheetz’s owner Ohio Springs Inc., saying two security guards will be on site on Friday and Saturday nights for am undetermined amount of time after the opening. Borough Manager Earl Parshall urged Sheetz to wait until there has been sufficient time for Shippensburg University students to be patrons before determining how many security guards will be used permanently.

Parshall said Wednesday he sees no problem in Sheetz selling beer. “I spent much of my life in Virginia, where every grocery store and even Walmart sells beer and wine and it was never a problem. Also, I don’t believe the current incidents at Sheetz are their fault, although I think they do call the police to report things. As the only place open at 2 a.m. when the bars close, that is where the intoxicated folks go for something to eat.”

Amber South can be reached at asouth@publicopinionnews.com or 262-4771.

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