Hurricane Sandy leads to Pa. booze prohibition

Posted: October 31, 2012

The government monopoly known as the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has decided to shut down every one of its more than 600 Wine & Spirits stores Tuesday due to Hurricane Sandy.

Fortunately, for those seeking to pass the time with some single-malt scotch or a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, privately-operated liquor stores are waiting just over the state border to take your cash.

You don't have anything against bootlegging, right?

"Tri-State Liquors, open all day," was how an employee at the Claymont, Del., store answered the phone Tuesday morning.

Just up Naamans Road, Total Wine & More is opening at noon. Both Delaware stores are located seconds from the Pennsylvania border.

In Cherry Hill, N.J., the Total Wine & More is currently without power, but Canal's Discount Liquor Mart in Pennsauken is open for business.

All Wine & Spirits Stores in Pennsylvania closed at 3 p.m. Monday as Sandy headed toward the New Jersey coast. The LCB, which controls the sale of wine and liquor in the state, decided to remain closed Tuesday "to assess the damage from Hurricane Sandy," according to an agency statement.

Transporting out-of-state alcohol to Pennsylvania is illegal, but people do it every day, seeking cheaper deals and a wider selection.

Gov. Corbett - and other Republicans before him - have sought to bust the state's liquor monopoly, to no avail.

Contact William Bender at benderw@phillynews.com or 215-854-5255. Follow him on Twitter @wbender99. Read his blog at philly.com/DailyDelco.

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