PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — An entrepreneur is opening up a brand new type of state store in the Strip District.
When it opens in March, Pennsylvania Libations in the Strip District will be the first privately owned state store to sell only “Pennsylvania spirits, wines, ciders and meads from Philadelphia to Scranton to Bethlehem down to State College back to Kane, Pa., then to Conneaut Lake and then back down to Pittsburgh,” owner Christian Simmons told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Monday.
Delano: “All here in one spot?”
Simmons: “All one spot.”
Now under construction, shelves at 2103 Penn Avenue will eventually hold 5,000 bottles from at least 25 different Pennsylvania manufacturers, says Simmons.
“It’s a collaboration, or some people call it, a pooling of satellite licenses from different manufacturers from around the states,” said Simmons.
The Liquor Control Board permits this because Pennsylvania wineries and distilleries can sell their own products, and, in this case, each has designated Simmons as their agent to do that at one location.
Ninety percent of the products are not found in local state stores — all kinds of wines and distilled products made in Pennsylvania.
Increasingly, Pennsylvania has been known for its fine beer and wine — even vodka and whisky — but gin? One of the products that will be sold at the store will be bottles of gin distilled up near the Allegheny National Forest.
When open, George Santel, a local bartender and teacher, will help educate customers on the Pennsylvania products.
Delano: “And you will offer a free sample?”
Santel: “Absolutely. Always try before you buy.”