PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) – A controversial bill is currently working its way through city hall designed to regulate ‘stop and go’ liquor stores. One part of the bill would force business owners to take down bulletproof glass inside their stores. But at what cost to their safety?
Broad Deli sits on the corner of the 2200 block of North Broad, inside a wall of bulletproof glass separates customers from workers.
“The most important thing is safety and the public’s safety,” owner Rich Kim said.
Rich Kim’s family has run the deli, which sells soda, snacks, meals and beer by the can for 20 years. He says the glass went up after a shooting and claims it saved his mother-in-law from a knife attack. Now, he may be forced to take some of the barrier down.
“If the glass comes down, the crime rate will rise and there will be lots of dead bodies,” he said.
A bill moving through city council reads: “No establishment shall erect or maintain a physical barrier.”
It’s called the ‘Stop and Go’ bill and is being offered by city councilwoman Cindy Bass.
“Right now, the plexiglass has to come down,” she said.
She wants to put some controls on these small stores that she says sell booze, very little food and are the source of trouble in her district.
Rich Kim resents the charge stores like his attract loiters and argues calls to police are often met with a slow response.
Mike Choe runs a non-profit supporting Korean-owned businesses. He plans on raising $100,000 to fight the measure.
“I do think it’s a bad bill that will endanger Korean Americans,’ he said.
Bass says she’s battling for her constituents.
Kim argues as a Korean-American he’s being targeted.
“This bill targets Korean Americans,” Cole asked. Bass responded, “Absolutely not. I find that offensive.”