Brownstoner, the Philly real estate blog, is reporting that the Washington Square West Civic Association, State Rep. Babette Josephs are joining with about a dozen Philly restaurants -- Le Bec Fin, Tria, Lolita, Fergie's, and Caribou Cafe among them -- in filing suit against the PLCB over the "wine boutique" they've placed in Garces Trading Company. It's not fair to work with one restaurant owner, they say.
The following quote pretty much summed it up for me, especially the first sentence:
"I have nothing but admiration for Jose Garces—this issue is not about him," Jon Myerow, the owner of Tria, said in a statement. "The issue is that of all restaurants being able to compete on a level playing field. In no other state has the alcohol governing body entered the restaurant industry to compete against the very businesses it regulates, all while partnering with hand-selected competitors. The incredible amount of choice we enjoy when dining out shows the free market at its best. If restaurants are forced to compete against the state, eventually there will be fewer restaurants."
Right. Remember Dominic Origlio's line from the PLCB hearings? "I would be remiss without mentioning what I believe is the underlying cause of these regulatory and enforcement problems. Pennsylvania's beer industry is regulated by its competitor -- the Liquor Control Board, a state run corporation which sells wine and liquor."
Inherently unfair; now expressly unfair. Get Pennsylvania out of the retail booze business. Today.