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PLCB Now Accepting Sealed Bids for Second Auction of Expired Restaurant Licenses

​Harrisburg – The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) today issued an invitation for bids to award 50 expired restaurant licenses in the second license auction since Act 39 became effective earlier this year.

This auction includes 50 licenses across 48 counties:

  • One license in each of 40 counties that were not represented in the first auction, including Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Berks, Bradford, Cambria, Carbon, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Elk, Fayette, Franklin, Greene, Huntingdon, Jefferson, Lackawanna, Lawrence, Lebanon, Luzerne, Lycoming, McKean, Mercer, Mifflin, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Potter, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Venango, Warren, Wayne, and Wyoming counties.
  • Two licenses each in Philadelphia and Allegheny County, where multiple bids were received in the first auction for each license made available.
  • One license in each of six counties where bids demonstrated high demand in the first auction: Chester, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lehigh, Montgomery, and York counties.

This second auction, which includes 10 more licenses and more than double the number of counties featured in the first auction, is intended to further test and evaluate market reaction while also maximizing auction revenue and preserving the value of existing, non-expired licenses.

Forest, Fulton, Perry, and Tioga counties, each of which currently only has one license available to be auctioned, are anticipated to be included in a future auction.

The second auction will again use a sealed bid process, which successfully awarded 37 licenses in the first auction. 

Bids for the 50 licenses offered in this second restaurant license auction are due by noon on Friday, March 3. Bids will be opened and auction winners will be determined the week of March 6.

The minimum bid for each license is $25,000, and each bid must be accompanied by a $5,000 bid surety intended to avoid frivolous and underfunded bids. 

The highest responsive bidder for each license will win the right to submit an application for the license to the PLCB within six months of auction award. If bid payment is not received within two weeks of auction award, the second-highest bidder will have opportunity to apply for the license. Bids will be held in escrow by the PLCB, pending approval of the license application.

Bidders with questions regarding this invitation for bid must submit inquiries via email to by noon on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Questions and answers will be posted to the Department of General Services e-marketplace website by noon on Monday, Jan. 30.

The first license auction authorized by Act 39 of 2016 was held earlier this year and offered 40 licenses across 21 counties. A total of 134 valid bids were received in that auction, and winning bids ranged from $51,500 for a license in Conemaugh Township, Somerset County, to $556,000 for a license in Carlisle, Cumberland County. The average winning bid was about $212,000.  Auction revenue cannot be totaled until license approvals are granted and bids come out of escrow.

The PLCB 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. The PLCB also works to reduce and prevent dangerous and underage drinking through partnerships with schools, community groups and licensees. Taxes and store profits – totaling $15.1 billion since the agency’s inception – are returned to Pennsylvania’s General Fund, which finances Pennsylvania’s schools, health and human services programs, law enforcement, and public safety initiatives, among other important public services. The PLCB also provides financial support for the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, other state agencies and local municipalities across the state. For more information about the PLCB, visit

MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Brassell, 717-783-8864

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