In a 5-4 vote, the Mount Joy Borough Council decided to legally defend the borough against Giant Food Stores’ appeal of the borough’s rejection of a liquor license. Council members debated their September decision to reject Giant’s request to transfer a restaurant liquor license from a Pizza Hut in Ephrata Township to the Giant supermarket at 789 E. Main St. in Mount Joy.
Council members contrasted the borough’s handling of Giant’s request with a similar request by Turkey Hill for a liquor license transfer last year. When Turkey Hill appealed the borough’s rejection of its liquor license transfer, the borough subsequently approved it. Alcohol sales have not yet begun there, and Turkey Hill store manager Crystal Kirchner said she does not know when they will start. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s website lists Turkey Hill’s Mount Joy license in “safekeeping” rather than “active” status.
PLCB’s website shows Mount Joy Borough has 11 active liquor licenses in effect including four restaurants, four hotels, two clubs, two breweries and one beer distributor. Giant’s website reports the supermarket chain now operates beer and wine gardens at 61 stores in Pennsylvania.
At the meeting on Monday, Oct. 1, Councilor Mike Reese spoke against the motion to defend the denial, noting that Giant is following a national business model and has paid a lot for the license. Councilor Mary Ginder felt that denying Giant’s license after approving Turkey Hill’s is “speaking out of both sides of our mouth.” Speaking in favor of the borough’s defense against Giant’s appeal, Councilor Brian Youngerman said, “We need to make a stand and see where it goes.”
Mayor Tim Bradley said denying the liquor license might cause Giant to close its Mount Joy store and move into the vacant Darrenkamp’s building that Giant purchased in Rapho Township; that property has a liquor license.
Voting in favor of the motion to defend the borough against Giant’s appeal were Lu Ann Fahndrich, Mike Hall, Jon Millar, Jake Smeltz and Brian Youngerman. Voting against the measure were Joshua Deering, Ginder, Charles Glessner and Reese.