5 towns in Delco, Chesco won't be 'dry' much longer

Tim Jimenez
May 22, 2019 - 9:54 am
bartender serving drinks

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MARPLE TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Voters in five Delaware and Chester county communities have spoken, and those "dry" towns will be dry no more. 

Marple Township isn't completely dry, because there are beer distributors and liquor stores in town. But there are no bars. And if you want a mixed drink at a restaurant, you're out of luck. 

But not for long.

Related: Wildwood Crest may lift alcohol sales ban based on residents' input

Marple Township, along with Aldan and Lansdowne in Delaware County and Franklin Township and West Marlborough in Chester County all voted on Tuesday in favor of allowing retail liquor sales.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board can now issue liquor licenses to restaurants, for example, and places like grocery stores that want to start selling wine.

On the front page of the Delaware County Daily Times is the headline "Sip, Sip, Hooray." And most of the people who spoke to KYW Newsradio said they’re on board.

"I think it's a good thing," says one.

"It's a long time coming. It’s okay with me," says another. 

One man from Marple Township says the move should help a lot of businesses.

"It's gonna bring people, and people will open their wallets up. They’re gonna spend money. So that’s, I suppose, a good thing for the economy," he said. "Instead of having to go several miles down the road, you can just [get a drink] right around the corner. It’s okay. I think most people are responsible."

But one long-time Marple Township resident said he’s afraid a lot of people won’t be responsible.

The Lansdowne Economic Development Corporation was part of the push to get support for the change. "We are overwhelmed by the response. We knew when we were getting the petitions signed that most people seemed in favor of the change, but we had no idea the support would be so positive [over 80% in favor]," said Executive Director Debbie Brodeur.

"We called our campaign 'Thirsty For Change' because we felt that the time was right and that this would move our town in the right direction. We recognize that this is just the beginning, but what a great first step.”

Giant Supermarket organized the effort to get the referendum on ballots. A Giant spokesman confirms the company has a license for the store in Aldan.