On Wednesday, October 27th, the PA House unanimously concurred on House Bill 425 (VIEW HERE) which extends some benefits to the restaurant industry that were enacted during the disaster declaration. The legislation was approved unanimously by the Senate and is expected to be signed by Governor Wolf this week. Highlights of the bill are as follows:
- Extends outdoor seating for licensed establishments
- Eliminates the $500 fee for off-premise catering permits
- Allows an unlimited number of catering permits
- Eliminates the 5-hour cap for catering events
- Allows a licensee that goes out of business to sell their liquor and wine to another licensee
These provisions would take effect immediately and be in effect until December 31, 2024.
The final bill only allows prepared beverages and mixed drinks for off-premise consumption during a disaster emergency. As the legislature did not extend the emergency this Summer, drinks-to-go are currently not allowed. Disagreements over drinks-to-go was a significant reason why similar legislation was not advanced earlier this year.