The Berks-Mont News (

Bids being accepted for expired liquor licenses

State holds fourth license auction, 50 licenses available

By Donna Rovins,, @MercBiz on Twitter

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Harrisburg >> The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has opened bidding in its fourth license auction for expired restaurant liquor licenses. A total of 50 expired restaurant licenses in 40 counties are available in this latest auction, including two licenses each in Berks and Montgomery counties and one license in Delaware County.

This is the fourth license auction conducted by the Pennsylvania Liquor control Board since Act 39 became effective in August 2016.

As with each of the preceding auctions, this auction will use a sealed bid process, and bids for the licenses are due by noon on Thursday, Nov. 9. The bids will be opened Thursday, Nov. 16, and auction winners will be determined soon thereafter. The minimum bid for each license is $25,000, and each bid must be accompanied by a $5,000 bid deposit.

The highest bidder for each license will then be able to submit an application for the license to the Pennsylvania Liquor control Board within six months of the auction award. If bid payment is not received within two weeks of auction award, the second-highest bidder will have the opportunity to apply for the license. Bids will be held in escrow by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, pending approval of the license application.

A total of 124 licenses were issued in the previous auctions, including three licenses each in Berks, Chester and Delaware counties and five in Montgomery County. Bids in the first three auctions ranged from $25,001 up to $556,000.

On June 8, 2016, Gov. Tom Wolf signed House Bill 1690 into law as Act 39 of 2016, Which took effect Aug. 8, 2016. One of the provisions of the Act, which changed many of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board’s responsibilities, was a provision allowing hotel and restaurant license holders (including those with approved interior connections to grocery stores or convenience stores) to apply for permits to sell limited quantities of wine to go.​

Bidders that might have questions can submit their inquiries via email to by noon on Tuesday, Sept. 26. Questions and answers will be posted to the Department of General Services e-marketplace website by 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 28.

Lists of winning bids from each of the three previous auctions are available on the license auction page of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board website. Auction revenue cannot be totaled until license approvals are granted and bids come out of escrow.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board regulates the distribution of beverage alcohol in Pennsylvania, operates more than 600 wine and spirits stores statewide and licenses more than 20,000 beverage alcohol producers and retailers. For more information about the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board visit

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