Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, December 11, 2018
press PHOTO BY bernie o’harePhiladelphia Attorney Ellen Freeman and Giant’s Colin Heap pitch alcohol sales at two Giant locations in Bethlehem Township. press PHOTO BY bernie o’harePhiladelphia Attorney Ellen Freeman and Giant’s Colin Heap pitch alcohol sales at two Giant locations in Bethlehem Township.

Friendly’s about to get a lot friendlier

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 by Bernie O’Hare Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

Friendly’s Convenience Store, located at 4209 William Penn Highway in Bethlehem Township, is about to get a lot friendlier. So are two township Giant stores located off Linden Street and Easton Avenue. All three locations will soon be adding a very popular item to their inventory – alcohol. At their April 2 meeting, commissioners unanimously approved liquor license transfers for all three locations.

Philadelphia Attorney Ellen Freeman, representing Giant, acknowledged that selling alcoholic beverages at a grocery store is a “relatively new concept in Pa.” But Giant has moved swiftly once state law was relaxed to permit more competition from private industry. Sixty-four of its 400 locations already have liquor licenses. She explained that transfers are typically approved by municipalities unless it would adversely affect the welfare, health, peace and morals of the community.

Hours of operation will be 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. The alcohol sales will take place in a beer garden where customers can drink as many as two bottles of beer on site so long as they also order food. Take-out sales will be permitted, up to a maximum of two six packs and four bottles of wine.

“It fulfills a great need for our customers,” said Colin Heap, a special projects manager with Giant. He indicated that store employees will have state RAMP (responsible alcohol management program) certifications and that everyone will be carded. He credits this “everyone” policy as the reason for zero citations at any location. The Linden Street location should be ready for alcohol in November, and the Easton Avenue location should be up and running in a few months.

Friendly’s applicant Mukumb Shelat, represented by Ted Zeller III, said his store will stop sales at 9 p.m., one hour earlier than Giant. His store will also include a separate area for alcohol sales.

Resident Don Wright said the applications were no big deal and the commissioners evidently agreed.

In other business, Commissioners are exploring portable potties as an alternative to controversial restrooms at the “North Forty” athletic fields. Though commissioners have been able to reduce the anticipated cost of a brick-and-mortar facility to $174,000, John Gallagher noted that a portable facility could be used at different events. Unlike the typical job Johnnie, this is a bathroom that can be hooked to a sewer. Physical Plant Director Steve Hunsberger was directed to get quotes for a portable pottie that includes four toilets and an ADA accessible bathroom.