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PLCB: Liquor store move ‘in community’s best interest’

LOCK HAVEN — “It’s all about enhancing customer experience.”

That was the response from Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board spokesperson Liz Brassell, when asked about the PLCB’s decision to move the state liquor store from downtown Lock Haven into the former CVS storefront in Clinton Plaza at 120 E. Walnut St.

Announcement of the move was made Wednesday after the Liquor Control Board voted 3-0 to relocate the Fine Wine and Good Spirits Store that has been a downtown staple at 137 E. Main St. for the last 43 years.

Although the news came as a surprise to local folks and also to Ron Pete, owner of the downtown building, Brassell said discussion has been in the works for quite some time.

She said the board looked at many things before making the decision, including rent, square footage of both stores, how best to serve the community, parking accessibility, the best way to serve the community as a whole and offering customers a modern and renovated store.

“They have determined that it is in our best interest and the community’s best interest to relocate the Lock Haven store and provide a modern retail environment that’s more welcoming and serves the community better,” Brassell continued.

“They also considered the proximity of the liquor store to bigger stores, like grocery stores,” she said, noting that Save-A-Lot grocery store is located at one end of Clinton Plaza, which is also home to the Clinton County Community Center which houses STEP Inc. and the Office of Aging.

And parking is another plus, Brassell said, comparing on-street metered parking in front of the downtown store to a large parking lot at the new location.

Although the board has voted to move the store, Brassell said it’s not really a “done deal” until the Department of General Services approves the lease with Clinton Plaza owners. She said General Services will be meeting in June to act on the lease.

“We do hope to pursue the move,” she said, adding that it will be awhile until the store actually relocates.

“It will take months to get ready. The liquor store will remain downtown at its current location for the forseeable future,” she said, preferring not to comment on when the move might actually take place.

Asked about the difference in rent of the two spaces, Brassell said she couldn’t comment.

Pete said yesterday he didn’t know anything about PLCB’s plans to move the store from his building, and was not happy that he wasn’t notified prior to the board voting on the move.

Brassell said Thursday morning that the board will be reaching out to Pete in the near future.

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