Philadelphia City Council Approves Crackdown on Nuisance ‘Beer Delis’

WTXF-TV, December 14, 2017

Philadelphia City Council voted 14-3 Thursday, for legislation that aims to crack down on so-called “beer delis” that have become in nuisance in some city neighborhoods.

But the legislation that passed, backs away from an outright demand that store owners remove the bullet-proof glass separating them from their customers.

Inside a packed City Council chamber, storeowners—mostly Asian-American—pleaded for the right to keep the bullet-proof barriers.

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Critics of the stores blasted them as predatory—places where vulnerable neighborhood residents are taken advantage of.

“This bill is bigger than (barriers)” said one man.  “This bill is about responsibility and accountability—two words Stop-N-Go owners never had to live up to.”

The legislation calls for tighter rules on seating, public restrooms and what can be sold at these stores.

{snip} “If we take down the safety glass,” said [Councilman David] Oh during a lengthy debate among members that preceded the vote, “they’re not changing their business model.  They’re not moving.  What they will do is purchase firearms.  I think that is a worse situation than what we have today.”

But the bill’s sponsor, Cindy Bass, railed against stores that she says sell beer and shots of liquor to already inebriated customers, sell loose cigarettes to minors, while doing nothing to deter loitering and public urination outside their establishments.

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