West Philly Getting A New Liquor Store, Eventually

Back in April, Spruce Hill Community Association President Barry Grossbach told us “the last chapter has yet to be written,” after the ZBA denied a Wine and Spirits application for a location in the strip mall located at 43rd and Chestnut Streets in University City.

Shopping center

Before the decision members of the SHCA drafted a letter expressing their support for the store. Some community members voiced their opposition (rooted largely in religious values) to the store occupying the site now home to adult video store Risqué Video. And when the ZBA denied the application, SHCA members filed an appeal and collected more than 500 signatures in a petition.

Last month, after a June 6 hearing, the ZBA reversed its initial decision and approved the application for a high end liquor store.

Future high-end Fine Wine and Good Spirits location

“We’re tired of going into Center City to buy wine,” said Grossbach. He said members of the SHCA had been working for more than five years to bring a state store into the neighborhood.

“The dump at 40th and Market closed up [last year],” he said. “As bad as it was, at least it was an outlet.”

Yes, dear state, we need our delicious, intoxicating grapes. We wonder, will local communities someday receive economic (maybe tax) benefits from the state stores their peoples frequent? Or, better yet, could the State of Pennsylvania just please get out of the business of selling these intoxicants altogether?

We expect that work will begin on the new store in the coming months.

–Lou Mancinelli