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Beer Here: Tom’s Riverside in Knox First Clarion County Grocery to Sell Alcohol
(Pictured above: The first beer customer at the Tom’s Riverside in Knox was Rich Schoedels (left) with store manager Jeff Huffman.)
Rich Schoedels made the first purchase, a 12 pack Of Busch Light.
“With competitive pressures on us from several different formats of businesses that sell our products, our hope is to increase sales by adding another convenience for our customers,” said owner Tom Ray. “The Knox store already has a bank and pharmacy inside as well.”
Pennsylvania does not yet have grocery store licenses for alcohol sales, so Tom’s Riverside had to purchase an existing restaurant alcohol license that was already in Clarion County. PLCB granted approval Wednesday.
“As far as I know, we are the first grocery store to sell alcohol in Clarion County,” said Ray. “We got PLCB approval on September 13 and started selling beer the same day even as we were filling the new case. We will be selling wine as well in the near future. We plan to sell some top sellers from the PA Wine & Spirits store as well as wine from some select local wineries.”
Customer will be able to take out their purchases or even drink some at Tom’s.
“Part of the requirements of having a restaurant license is seating for 30 and 30 single serve food items available in the licensed area,” Ray continued. “So yes, at our Knox Riverside we now have seating for 30 where customers can sit and dine on items bought at our store. We’re not promoting alcohol consumption, but with a food purchase, customers can consume up to 24 oz. of beer with their meal. Six packs and larger are take-out only.”
With a Sunday Sales Permit, Tom’s is permitted to sell alcohol every day of the week during normal business hours, with the exception of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Sundays. As per state law, they are only permitted to sell up to 192 o of beer, or the equivalent of two, 16 oz. 6 packs.
“All of our cashiers, that are over 18 and permitted to sell, are R.A.M.P. trained with PA’s Responsible Alcohol Management Program. Alcohol must be purchased at a designated register in the licensed area. Cashiers were trained on many procedures and precautions with regard to the sale of alcohol. We scan every license for proof of age.”
Ray said they have no immediate plans at this time to sell alcohol at our other two locations in New Bethlehem and Rimersburg, but that may change in the future.
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