The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has decided to hear the appeal filed by MBDA challenging the grant of licenses to Wegmans Supermarkets. Oral argument before the Court has not been scheduled, but is estimated to be in March or April, 2010, with a decision within 3-6 months after. The Order Granting the Petition for Allowance of Appeal frames the exact issue MBDA has argued from the beginning, i.e. whether the PLCB has circumvented the Liquor Code in granting these licenses to supermarkets that have a "restaurant" area to sell beer primarily for take-out. The Order, dated September 29, 2009, reads as follows:
GRANTED. The issue, as stated by Petitioner, [MBDA] is:
Did the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board improperly apply its "interior connection" and "other business" rules so as to circumvent the fundamental Liquor Code rules establishing the venues at which beer may be sold in Pennsylvania and thereby authorize a supermarket that has a "restaurant" area within it to sell beer, primarily in six and twelve packs and primarily for take-out consumption, to its supermarket customers?