Officials shut down several 'stop-and-go' corner stores in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- State legislators are taking another crack at coming down on so-called "stop-and-go" corner stores in Philadelphia.

State senators Anthony Williams and Sharif Street, along with the Liquor Control Board, police, and other government officials visited three suspected stores on Monday, shutting down two.

"You have folks who are either not the owner or in charge who can't answer basic questions about fire alarms," said Williams, a Democrat who represents the 8th District.

While making the comment, he was inside a store called "Nicetown Food Beer and Wine." Williams says they obtained its liquor license by calling itself a restaurant, but he believes customers go there only to drink.

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"We don't need drunk old men who are drinking shots and taking them out where it's also selling kids candy," said Street, who represents the district in which the store is located.

Within an hour, officials had all the customers cleared out and the LCB says the owners volunteered to temporarily close and fix issues after health inspectors found expired food and inadequate seating. Neighbors claim the problem is much worse than that.

"Now that it's getting chilly outside, we're getting children gathering in here at night time," said Majeedah Rashid, the COO of the Nicetown CDC Community Center.

The LCB says it has suspended 30 licenses from stop-and-go businesses, but they all ended up being reinstated. That's why community groups like the Nicetown CDC says it wants to see the law changed to make it harder for stores to get licenses in the first place.

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"We don't need any more of these establishments in our neighborhood. We're proliferated with them," said Rashid.

Our calls to the store for comment were not returned.

Officials say they also shut down a store on 22nd and Ridge on Monday for mice droppings, improper license, and roaches.
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