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Wet township still dry: No liquor licenses for Upper Allen

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UPPER ALLEN TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- More than a month after becoming "wet" and voting to repeal its law banning alcohol sales, Upper Allen Township is Cumberland County is still very dry.

Residents voted in May to end the township's 90-year law which prohibited the sale of liquor in area restaurants. Since then, numerous existing establishments expressed interest in selling alcohol, and according to township commissioners, franchises from outside the municipality wanted to build within Upper Allen.

Maria Skaboulos is the co-owner of Brothers Dining, one of two Upper Allen Twp. restaurants which want to apply for a liquor license. The only problem? Cumberland County has none available.

"We were so excited, and we thought it was going to be like that," she said, snapping her fingers. "But it’s not, no."

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board allocates one liquor license per every 3,000 citizens in a county. As of the 2010 census, Cumberland County was given 78. Currently, there are 82 liquor licenses throughout the county. The PLCB has said they are no longer giving them out.

"It’s a little frustrating, but we can wait," Skaboulos said. "We are very patient people."

Brothers Dining and Aldo's Pizza Town are the restaurants in Upper Allen Twp. which have expressed interest in applying for licenses. The only way they'll be able to acquire a license now is by buying one off of another Cumberland County establishment which currently owns one. Skaboulos estimates that could cost restaurants up to $270,000, which is out of Brothers Dining's price range.