Curbside pickup at liquor stores frustrates customers in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is starting curbside pickup at liquor stores around the state a month after Gov. Tom Wolf ordered them closed as part of a broader shutdown of businesses deemed nonessential.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board announced on its website Saturday that stores will begin taking orders by phone on Monday, with each customer limited to no more than six bottles. Curbside pickup will be available at more than 175 of the state's 600 stores. 

The closure of the state-owned liquor stores had been widely unpopular, especially with the state's online ordering system largely unable to keep up with overwhelming consumer demand. The liquor board, which has a virtual monopoly on retail sales of hard alcohol in Pennsylvania, has been repurposing some of the stores to help fulfill online orders.

Under the curbside pickup program, each store will take orders by phone from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. -- or until the store reaches the maximum number of orders it can fill that day -- Monday through Saturday. 

The PLCB announced at 1 p.m. Monday, the stores were only supposed to take orders Monday and not hand them out until Tuesday. Perhaps the biggest frustration Monday was placing an order in the first place. State officials say the stores only have one phone line.

Producers, breweries, wineries and distilleries, and privately owned beer distributorships have been permitted to sell during the business shutdown. Beer and wine is also available at grocery stores and convenience stores


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