Today is the last day to buy booze before state-owned wine and liquor stores close

The Associated Press
(Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania will shut down all of its roughly 600 state-owned wine and liquor stores as part of the state's expanding shutdown as Gov. Tom Wolf's administration tries to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

All wine and liquor stores and licensee service centers will close 9 p.m. Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board said in a statement.

Online sales end Monday.

Board Chairman Tim Holden said in a statement that he knew store closings will hurt consumers and licensees, but that fighting the public health crisis must take priority.

Wolf already ordered the stores in four southeastern Pennsylvania counties — Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery — where he had said there was "confirmed evidence of risk" to shut down after Monday.

Stores in those four counties first drew large crowds over the weekend, and the liquor control board said processing and delivery of online orders would be delayed because of unusually high order volume. 

At the Bensalem store in Bucks County, the line for the register wrapped around two aisles, KYW-AM radio reported. Chris Marshall of Bucks County told the Morning Call of Allentown that he was stocking up and had never seen lines like that at his local store.