September 8th, 2022

Are you “Bidding” to get a Liquor License?

If you want a Pennsylvania liquor license for your restaurant, you may be in luck. On September 7, 2022, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) sent out a release announcing an invitation to bid on expired restaurant liquor licenses. This is the first auction since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic so there may be some pent-up demand.  However, the process is a bit obtuse for those who haven’t actually submitted a bid.  We at Gross McGinley, LLP, are here to help.

Where are the Licenses?

According to PLCB’s announcement, the auction will include at least one (1) license from the following counties:

  • Berks
  • Blair
  • Bradford
  • Bucks
  • Cambria
  • Carbon
  • Centre
  • Chester
  • Clinton
  • Dauphin
  • Delaware
  • Elk
  • Lebanon
  • Mifflin
  • Monroe
  • Montgomery
  • Montour
  • Northampton
  • Schuylkill
  • Wayne
  • York

As you can see, in the Lehigh Valley, Northampton County has one license available. Additionally, the Schuylkill Valley has licenses available in both Berks and Schuylkill Counties

The Process

Bidders need to fill out a bid application which can be found on the PLCB website. In the meantime, there are three important dates to remember:

  1. September 23 (noon deadline) – potential bidders must submit any questions via email to For your information, all questions and answers will be posted to the website by 3:00 p.m. on September 28.
  2. October 31 (noon deadline) – all bids are due. The key here is to make sure that your bid complies with all rules and regulations.  Failure to do so can disqualify your bid. 
  3. November 2 – sealed bids will be opened, and winners will be announced “soon thereafter.” This is usually done via a live video cast available on the PLCB website.

The minimum bid for each license is $25,000, and each bid must be accompanied by a bid surety of $5,000 or 5% of the total bid amount – whichever is higher – to avoid frivolous and underfunded bids.

So restauranteurs, if you want a Pennsylvania liquor license, now is your opportunity. If you need help with your bid or have other liquor law questions, please reach out to the liquor law attorneys at Gross McGinley, LLP, and we will be happy to assist you.

Attorney Jason A. Ulrich is a partner working in our Business Services and Municipal Law Groups. He has counseled and guided many restaurants, bars and other businesses and towns to navigate the PLCB  regulations.

The content found in this resource is for informational reference use only and is not considered legal advice. Laws at all levels of government change frequently and the information found here may be or become outdated. It is recommended to consult your attorney for the most up-to-date information regarding current laws and legal matters.