GetGo, a gas station/convenience chain based in Western Pennsylvania has begun selling beer at its Elizabeth, PA location. Situated roughly 15 miles south Pittsburgh, the store is the first to sell beer for the Giant Eagle Grocery Store owned chain. Following in the path of Sheetz, GetGo has circumvented the PA law forbidding retail stores from selling alcohol by having their store classified as a restaurant, then obtaining a liquor license. As of now, this will be the only GetGo to offer beer with no plans to have sister sites offer beer in the near future.
The chain has stated that they held a public forum alerting the public of their plans, at which there were no objections. So far the only party against the move is the Malt Beverage Distributors Association of Pennsylvania. This is obviously a group with a vested interest in prohibiting retailers from selling beer to customers. Sheetz has notoriously been trying to get the laws changed that bar them from selling beer in their convenience stores in Pennsylvania. They offer beer at one location in Altoona, where the company is based, but had to stop briefly after the MBDA filed a suit against it. The issue went to the state supreme court where it ruled in favor of Sheetz, providing they allow customers to drink on site.
The GetGo has several stipulations in place. A customer must order food in order to obtain an alcoholic beverage, and that location is separate from where customers pay for fuel within the building. The Elizabeth GetGo location joins the Altoona Sheetz as the only chain gas stations to offer beer sales. Recently several supermarket locations have begun to sell beer in cafes located within the building. With more and more establishments setting a precedent for beer sales, hopefully Pennsylvania will loosen up their liquor laws sooner than later.