Outdoor Dining & Regulations: The PLCB

Outdoor Dining & Regulations: The PLCB

Outdoor dining is more popular than ever. And as a result of the pandemic, policies for maximizing the space one can operate in were supposedly “revamped” with the hope of keeping restaurants busy while a segment of the population didn’t want to eat indoors.

The truth of the matter is that, yes, the options available to a Restaurant are greater than they were, but the processes are far from streamlined. Our initial goal with this blog post was to write a step by step guide to get the proper permitting to extend your outdoor seating. We quickly discovered that the processes are far more nuanced, and that this piece would be limited to providing quality resources to Restaurateurs. The processes are not cookie-cutter, but the benefits remain. I’d wager that if you can run a Restaurant you can certainly navigate the regulations around outdoor dining! Just know it will take some time and we’re happy to help navigate.

PLCB

Liquor licensees that would like to extend their licensed premises to an exterior area currently have two options, temporary or permanent. Act 81 of 2021 cemented rules about Temporary spaces and provides for some situations that would not be permissible as a permanent extension.  Temporary extension of premises filings have a future end date of 12/31/2024 and a licensee may begin using the space upon the filing date with the PLCB. Standard extension of premises filings do not have an end date but one must wait until approval in order to start operation.

  • Temporary Extension of Premises
    • Act 81 of 2021: https://www.lcb.pa.gov/Legal/Documents/Summary%20of%20Act%20%2081%20of%202021.pdf
    • Provides authority for certain license classes to temporarily extend their licenses premises to include any outside serving area that is:
      • §  Immediately adjacent to the existing licensed area or
      • §  Within 1,000 feet of the main licensed building, regardless of whether the temporary extension area is separated from the main building by a public thoroughfare.
    • Immediate approval upon filing
    • Terminated if a valid protest is received or if PLCB determines that the temporary extension area does note meet the requirements for licensure
    • Application is required
    • Authorization for temp extension of prem expires on 12/31/2024
  • Extension of Premises
    • Will require proof that you have the right to operate on that piece of property
      • §  Do you own the property?
      • §  Does your lease directly state that you can use that specific area?
      • §  Do you have permission from your local municipality to operate on a sidewalk or other public property?
    • Is your licensed area contiguous? 

Conclusion

It’s a piece of cake, right? You got this! Specialty Group will always be available as a resource – we know you’re time is valuable and this process is nothing but complex. We’ve navigated it for many and can do the same for you.