Beer and wine sales allowed at GetGo on Frankstown Road in Penn Hills
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board recently granted a request to sell beer and wine at a GetGo gas station at a busy intersection in Penn Hills.
The approval comes after more than a year of debate about whether the gas station should be permitted to sell alcohol.
“The board will do an inspection to see if their plans they submitted are done to specs,” Shawn Kelly, an LCB spokesman said. If the store's renovations meet those specs, the agency will issue GetGo's license to sell beer and wine, he said.
Dick Roberts, a Giant Eagle spokesman, did not have a completion date for renovations at the 10525 Frankstown Road location. The work will cost about $300,000 and add seating for 30 with food service. Giant Eagle operates the GetGo chain of convenience stores and gas stations.
The convenience store has said there will be a “100 percent carding policy” and would limit sales of beer to two for on-property consumption, but only when coupled with a food purchase. Wine sales will be limited to four bottles, and purchasers will not be permitted to consume wine in the store.
Giant Eagle applied for a license transfer from a former business in North Versailles in February 2017. It withdrew that request a few weeks later because some Penn Hills council members said they were against selling alcoholic beverages at that store.
Giant Eagle's second request came in April 2017, when it applied for a license from the former Vincent's Pizza Park on Frankstown Road. Since the license would be transferred within the municipality, the company does not have to seek approval from the council before proceeding, Kelly said.
Hebron United Presbyterian Church, which is near the gas station, filed a protest with the LCB in May 2017, prompting a public hearing that was held in March.
Pastor Doug Rehberg was not surprised by the agency's May 16 decision to allow the sale of beer and wine at the GetGo.
“We sought to represent the neighborhood. Everything we said at the hearing are still concerns that we have,” he said.
Rehberg's argument centered on his concern that his church's parking lot across the street would be used by the increased number of customers coming to the convenience store if alcohol sales are permitted. He also predicted that alcohol sales would increase crime in the neighborhood.