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    Sheetz Gets Approval to Sell Beer in Pennsylvania

    Separation between store and gas pumps must first be established.

    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania liquor officials Wednesday granted Sheetz convenience stores conditional approval to sell beer at a store in the company's hometown of Altoona, Pa., reported the Associated Press.

    The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board voted unanimously to transfer an existing license to Sheetz. The board said it would give operating authority to the convenience store once the company establishes a separation between the store and gasoline pumps.

    "The evidence clearly established that the sale of sundry items and liquid fuels at this location rises to the level of a separate business," the board said in a statement.

    Earlier this year, Sheetz applied for a beer license for the new superstore that opened in June in Altoona. Sheetz doesn't sell beer at any of its Pennsylvania convenience stores although it does at 86 stores in Maryland, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia where liquor laws are less stringent.

    Company officials had said that the gasoline pumps at the store would be on land controlled by a separate lease agreement from the rest of the store, and that gas transactions would be handled at the pump only. The store wants to sell only single beers and six-packs for takeout.

    The Altoona store is twice the size of a normal Sheetz convenience store and offers sandwiches, fried chicken, French fries, soups and salads. A coffee bar and Italian ices will also be test-marketed in the new store, which can seat 48.

    To separate the Sheetz store and its fuel operation, the board said a partition of at least four feet must separate the two. Also, if the store and gas station share a parking lot, there must be a separation there as well, the board said.

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