frogro
Photo: Irina Bit-Babik

It’s a shorter walk to pick up alcohol as the Fresh Grocer at 40th and Walnut streets has expanded its merchandise to include premium beers.

Since FroGro sits on Penn-owned property, the University had to approve the store's right to sell alcohol under their contract. The Spruce Hill Zoning Committee previously approved FroGro to sell beer in January.

“They’ve had the right on their lease to sell some alcoholic products since they first came here,” said Ed Datz, executive director of real estate for Facilities and Real Estate Services. “Now they’ve just decided to go ahead and expand their merchandise to compete with other stores in the marketplace.”

The Fresh Grocer’s lease with the University does restrict how the store may sell alcoholic beverages. Only high-end beers or microbrews may be sold off the shelf from 12 p.m. until 12 a.m. The variety of beer was restricted to maintain integrity of a store operating on University-owned property, Datz said.

FroGro now sells brands including Premium O'Doul's Amber, Reed's Premium Ginger Brew and Barritt's Ginger Beer.

“We have no problem with the Fresh Grocer selling [beer] now,” Datz said. “We trust that they will do it appropriately and abide by the restrictions on their lease.” A sign outside the storefront pledges to check IDs for alcohol purchases.

An appropriate spokesperson from Fresh Grocer was not able to be reached for comment.

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