Beer Distributor Closes While Giant Eagle Expands
Quaker Village Beer Distributor recently closed for business. Construction work to expand Giant Eagle is underway.
Customers looking to stock up on beer supplies for Steelers parties over the weekend were surprised to find the Quaker Village Beer Distributor had abruptly closed.
Some instead resorted to purchasing bottles at the nearby state Wine & Spirits store, and questioning employees there -- who also were unsure about what prompted the store’s hasty departure.
Leetsdale Council President Roger Nanni also couldn’t say Monday what brought on the beer distributor’s shut down. Nanni said he remembered the distributor as one of the original stores in the Quaker Village Shopping Center, dating back to the 1960s.
He said the beer distributor has changed hands different times over the years.
Neither the store owner, Rob Kraus, nor the property owner, Stanley Gumberg, could be reached for comment Monday.
“It’s a shame. They’ve been there forever,” Nanni said.
Nanni wasn't sure when the beer distributor closed, but speculated that perhaps the closing had something to do with the nearby Giant Eagle’s future plans to start beer and wine sales.
Giant Eagle applied on July 1 to move a liquor license into the borough, following state Liquor Control Board regulations.
Leetsdale was supposed to have a public hearing on the matter, but Nanni said the borough secretary failed to advertise the meeting within the proper 45 days of the submitted application.
Giant Eagle’s application was approved “by default,” Nanni said, adding that a public hearing would have given borough officials and residents the opportunity to learn more details and ask questions.
“We dropped the ball,” Nanni said.
Nanni said the grocery’s beer section would resemble those found in supermarkets such as the Market District store in Robinson Township.
In addition to wine and beer sales, the supermarket has moved forward with construction plans to expand its pharmacy.
Dave Huffnagle, the building inspector with Avalon-based Building Inspector Underwriters, said the grocery chain obtained a building permit at the end of last year.
Huffnagle, who is handling the renovation project on behalf of Leetsdale, said Giant Eagle took over the former Rite Aid store space when the pharmacy next door moved out of the plaza a few years ago.
Giant Eagle opened a temporary pharmacy and plans to eventually expand its pharmacy and drive-through the full length of the strip mall adjacent to the GetGo gas station, Huffnagle said.