Across Pennsylvania, Communities Voted to Turn On the Taps

Image via Peter Hall The Morning Call. The Avenue Delicatessen in Lansdowne closed last year. Some hope that allowing restaurants to sell liquor will make it easier to stay in business.

In some Pennsylvania communities, alcohol is still the devil’s drink and bars are an unnecessary evil. But with Election Day came an opportunity to turn on the taps in those towns — and many of them seized it, writes Emily Opilo and Peter Hall for The Morning Call.

Voters in 20 municipalities considered referendums to flip their towns from dry to wet . Nineteen were successful, including Marple, Lansdowne and Aldan, according to media reports collected by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

As of January, there were still 683 Pennsylvania municipalities that were at least partially dry — about a quarter of the 2,571 municipalities in the state.

Many dry laws date to the 1930s when Prohibition was repealed. Municipalities could keep the ban in place or allow liquor sales.

Local leaders have found benefits to allowing liquor sales.  It can encourage different kinds of businesses to move in, or expand the reach of existing ones such as grocery stores or gas stations that would like to add beer to their offerings.

Referendums in the three Delaware County communities passed overwhelmingly, slashing the number of remaining dry municipalities in the county from 12 to nine.

Read more about the liquor law shift here.

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