Saturday, January 22 2022

SHAMOKIN – The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) this week granted its approval of a liquor license for Oliver’s Cigars & Spirits to Shamokin.

Wednesday’s decision came after a protest against the transfer of alcohol license from a nearby bar and restaurant owner to Shamokin who served as the vice president of Shamokin Region Enterprises for Economic Revitalization (SABER ). Oliver’s owner Edward Manning said the approval gave them the option to serve alcohol immediately when they opened Wednesday night at 144 E. Independence St., Shamokin.

“I feel relieved,” Manning said. “When our business model predicted that 50 to 60% of our sales would be spirits, it was as if we were operating with a hand and a half tied behind our back. “

Oliver’s was one of four companies Congressman Dan Meuser, R-9, visited in mid-September. Oliver’s opened without alcohol on October 29.

Oliver’s offers a variety of cigars and spirits with a range of prices to suit everyone, as well as food and non-alcoholic drinks. The menu offers handcrafted cocktails and mid to high-end whiskeys and spirits.

“This is meant to be a wide variety of tastes and prices,” Manning said. “The vision of our place is that you can come in and relax. Enjoy the atmosphere. Take a comfortable chair. Take a whiskey, a cocktail, have a bite to eat. Enjoy a cigar. This is the total experience.

Cigars and spirits are available for all groups, from beginners to amateurs, he said.

Manning, a real estate developer from Wyomissing, and his wife Wendy Manning first became interested in Shamokin a few years ago by renovating apartment buildings and building upscale apartments. Inspired by the economic development plan put forward by SABER and the city, they decided to open a cigar lounge, invest more than $ 400,000 in renovations and move to the city.

In March, they applied for a liquor license from Barry Haggerty following a tax sale of a bar in Milton. The city approved the move in May. The orange sign is mounted on the window. Everything seemed to be moving forward until they heard about the protest.

The protest came from Forrest and Amanda Curran, owners of Ale House Bar & Grill at 147 E. Independence St. under regulations that allow liquor licensees within 200 feet of potential licensees to protest the issuance or license transfer. Forrest Curran was asked to resign by SABER following his protest.

The hearing for the liquor license protest took place on November 9. The onus was on Forrest Curran to show that granting the permit would have a negative impact on his business.

The Mannings expressed their gratitude to elected officials, including City Mayor John Brown, State Representative Kurt Masser, R-107, and State Senator John Gordner, R-27; and community members for their support.

“We are officially another destination in Shamokin,” said Wendy Manning.

Sean O’Brien, the classically trained manager and bartender, is an experienced bartender who attended Boston Bartending School in the mid-1990s. He has been a bartender on and off since then.

“It has been a long time coming,” he said. “It’s fantastic. I can’t wait to get to work.

PLCB Rules

According to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB), those who can file a protest when proximity is involved (for example, new requests, extension requests, place-to-place transfers, and double transfers) include: proposed authorized premises; restrictive institutions that are located within 300 feet of proposed permitted premises, including churches, schools, hospitals, public parks with children’s play facilities, and charitable institutions; and other PLCB licensees whose authorized premises are located within 200 feet of the proposed authorized premises. The Ale House is directly opposite the Cigar Lounge.

A protest can be lodged within 30 days of the affixing of the orange plate in the business of the license holder. Once the hearing has been held, the hearing examiner has 28 days to file a report with the panel to determine whether it should be approved. The board will review the report and all relevant information before making a decision, according to the PLCB.


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