Raise Your Glass: Pine Grove Township Moves from ‘Dry’ to ‘Wet’

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RUSSELL, Pa. – Pine Grove Township residents resoundingly approved a change in the township’s legal beverage status from “dry” to “wet,” based on preliminary results from Tuesday’s election.

(Photo courtesy John Bortz, Jr. One of the signs encouraging Pine Grove Township residents to approve a change in the township’s legal beverage status from “dry” to “wet.”)

Based on the results released Wednesday, nearly three-quarters of voters (72.4 percent) favored the change. The measure passed with 1,188 voting in favor and 451 against.

“I started getting a gut feeling there was going to be a lot of support for it,” Cable Hollow Golf Course Club Manager John Bortz, Jr. said. “I started talking to the township supervisors and they were all for it. I talked to merchants in downtown Russell and they were all for it. So it was like, ‘Wow, this is all starting to feel pretty positive.’ But did I see it being something that was going to approach 3-to-1? No, I didn’t see that.”

Bortz, who’s family has owned and operated Cable Hollow for nearly 50 years, was a driving influence behind the ballot question.

“We’re the only golf course in the region without a liquor license,” Bortz said.

If everything goes off without a hitch, that could change as early as the 2021 season.

“It looks very optimistic for the 2021 season Cable Hollow Golf Course will be licensed,” Bortz said. “It looks like it could be licensed prior to Memorial Day.”

It’s not just Cable Hollow that could benefit from this change. The option to have liquor licenses could help Pine Grove market itself as a logical stop for those traveling between Warren and Chautauqua Counties.

“The conversations that I had with the supervisors, they’re very much interested in opening up Pine Grove,” Bortz said. “It does have so much to offer, especially when you consider it’s midway between Warren and Jamestown.”

For Bortz and Cable Hollow, the next step is waiting for the results to be certified in Harrisburg, then contacting the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to get the licensing process started.

“It’s about an 8- to 12-week process,” Bortz said.