New PLCB Restaurant Liquor License Auction
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) will be auctioning 21 expired restaurant licenses on November 2, 2022. Sealed auction bids are due by October 31, 2022. The minimum bid for each license is $25,000.00. This is the first PLCB auction since 2020, when the auctions were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Potential licensees have the benefit of bidding on licenses being offered in 21 different counties in Pennsylvania. Those counties are Berks, Blair, Bradford, Bucks, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Chester, Clinton, Dauphin, Delaware, Elk, Lebanon, Mifflin, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Schuylkill, Wayne, and York.
In addition to the minimum bid amount, each sealed bid is required to include a bid surety of $5,000.00 or 5% of the total bid amount, whichever sum is greater. The minimum bids and sureties are meant to ensure that bidders are serious and can afford the license.
Licenses in Pennsylvania are hard to come by and can be very expensive. Even the last PLCB auction saw high prices for some of the 25 licenses that went up for auction. The highest winning bid totaled $250,112.00 for a license in Lansdale, Montgomery County. The lowest winning bid was for $25,111.00 for a license in Butler Township, Schuylkill County.
Winning bidders should keep in mind that the license will be offered to the second highest bidder if the PLCB does not receive payment on time. Additionally, winning bidders will still need to submit a license application following the auction.