Council Conducts Public Hearing On Alcoholic Beverage License Transfer
McConnellsburg Borough Council held a public hearing last Wednesday evening on a request by Jason Ritchey, owner-proprietor of Lincoln Way Pizza, to have a wine and beer license owned by Clem and Jana Malot transferred to his restaurant on Lincoln Way East in the borough. Ritchey and Malot were present at the October council meeting and made the initial request.
The hearing was conducted by borough solicitor Carlton Walker and was opened with Ritchey reiterating his request to have the beer and wine license for his restaurant. “I am not opening a bar,” he said, and he noted again that he will have a separate area designated for those wishing to have beer and/or wine with their meal.
Only one person attended to protest the transfer. Jim Hedges, a Thompson Township resident, and a prohibitionist, asked council to deny the request based on two reasons. Hedges said the sale of alcoholic beverages is a temptation to young people, and he said that the cost to communities for alcohol-related problems is directly correlated to the number of liquor establishments in the community.
Councilman Jim Smith, who is also a former police chief, said that there are sanctions that exist and are enforced by the state for those establishments that have problems and that he does not anticipate problems at Ritchey’s restaurant.
On a motion by Rick Buterbaugh/ Jim Smith, council voted unanimously 7-0 in a roll-call vote to grant the request and to adopt the resolution needed for the transfer.
According to Jana Malot, current owner of the license, the borough’s approval and resolution will now set the stage for Ritchey and Malot to begin the application to the Pa. Liquor Control Board (PCLB) to have the license transferred. Malot has not used the license since acquiring it.
In a similar, but unrelated matter, Mark Washabuagh, ownerproprietor of Fulton Beverage, appeared before council with his attorney to request permission to move his wholesale beer distributor business from its current location near the fairgrounds to the old Rainbow’s End location in the borough. Washabaugh said that with the move, he will acquire an additional 300 square feet of space. Council members voted unanimously to grant his request and offered their best wishes at his new location.