Some Delaware County dry towns approve liquor sales

LANSDOWNE, Pa. (WPVI) -- History was made last night when residents in Lansdowne and two other municipalities voted overwhelmingly to become a wet town once and for all.

Not since the days of prohibition in the 1920s have they allowed the sale of alcohol in places like Lansdowne, Aldan Borough and Marple Township. But now, almost 100 years later, restaurants here will be able to do so.

"I'm happy to tell you that this is a bright day for Lansdowne's future. It's a small step in the overall picture, but it's an important one, it's gonna help us a lot," said Jamey Reilly, the owner of Jamey's House of Music.

Jamey's House of Music is a small restaurant in Lansdowne offering live jazz and blues along with a hearty meal. Reilly has long been at a disadvantage being next door to Philadelphia where restaurants can sell alcoholic beverages. But not anymore.

"We can be a full service establishment and the right step for us will be to get a liquor license," said Reilly.

The owner of Aviana's, a BYOB on Baltimore Pike, is also elated voters approved the measure.

"We're happy to have that happen. It's been a long time so now it's our dream come true," said Bounta Thengsiouk, the owner of Aviana.

"Some people enjoy a glass of wine with their dinner or a beer so that's a good thing," says Michelle Downie of Lansdowne.

Over at Soprano's deli and catering, a BYOB in Marple Township, we found Chuck Alyanakian drinking a beer and smoking a cigar, celebrating that voters here also approved a similar measure.

"I think it's great, but you know this was a dry town for the longest, there's quite a few people not too happy about it, but you can't stop progress," Alyanakian said.

"To be honest, I voted against it. One of the reasons why I moved to Marple back in the early 2000s was it was a dry town," said Mike Dunn.

Lauren Kline says, "I think it's a good opportunity for not only the stores but other businesses that can make more money."

Managers at the Giant Food store in Marple had lobbied hard for the measure which would allow them to also sell beer and wine.

"Good news for me I guess. I live in Broomall, so it's good to know that I can come here and one stop shop, get food and groceries and alcohol," said John Hill.

Residents in Lansdowne are hoping the measure will help stimulate the creation of a dynamic downtown like that in Media. Only time will tell.
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