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East Donegal Township OKs Beer Permit for Sheetz Store

The Sheetz convenience store on River Road near Marietta is one step closer to being able to sell beer and wine.

A public hearing about the transfer of a liquor license into East Donegal Township for Sheetz, Inc., was held Thursday, Feb. 7, at the supervisors’ meeting. The liquor license would be transferring to Sheetz No. 236, at 1158 River Road, Marietta.

The supervisors approved the motion for the transfer, 2 to 1, with Allen Esbenshade opposing the motion.

The supervisors also requested that Sheetz refrain from using “canopy” or “banner” advertising alcohol sales in the windows of its store.

Next, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board will have to determine if the Sheetz on River Road is within 300 feet of a nearby church and school.

Even if it is in that range, which Sheetz representatives do not think is the case, the PLCB could still approve

the liquor license transfer.

Sheetz obtained the license from The Spot on the Turnpike Inc., at 1075 Turnpike Road, Elizabethtown, in West Donegal Township. Both municipalities are in Lancaster County, which allows for the possibility of a transfer. And Sheetz has a 30-seat eating area, qualifying it as a restaurant.

Sheetz has 127 stores with liquor licenses currently. At the stores, patrons can choose from a large selection of domestic and international beer from its “beer cave,” formerly known as a “soda cave.” No one under 21 is allowed in the beer cave, and the freezer locks its doors at 1:45 a.m. daily.

There are a smaller amount of what Sheetz determines to be the most popular wines at a range of prices, located by the beer cave or near the touchscreen menus at the front of the store.

In order to pay for beer or wine, patrons must go the register labeled for alcohol sales. They can check out other items as well, but cannot purchase gas.

Due to a Pennsylvania law separating gas and alcohol sales, anyone wanting gas has to go to a separate gas register.

Sheetz has a 100 percent carding policy. In order to check out a customer’s alcohol, the cashier must scan the customer’s driver’s license, and the age of the customer flashes on the register screen. Cashiers must be at least 18.

If a group is purchasing wine or beer, the Sheetz cashier will card every person in the group.

There is no alcohol consumption allowed at Sheetz or in the Sheetz parking lot. This is enforced by Sheetz security and its employees.

Although the store is open 24/7, beer sales will be limited to 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Sunday.

Wine sales will end at 11 p.m. each night.

Customers may purchase two six-packs and four bottles of wine per store visit.

Sheetz says after beer and wine is added to a store’s inventory, sales typically increase by about 12 percent — meaning alcohol is mostly being purchased by current Sheetz customers, not by new store traffic.

The next meeting of the East Donegal Township Board of Supervisors will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, at the East Donegal Township Municipal Building, at 190 Rock Point Road, Marietta.

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