PLCB clarifies the governor’s order on restaurants and bars operating during green phase

The PLCB issued a clarifying document on Wednesday, July 22nd to clear up questions from Governor Wolf’s recent update to how bars and restaurants may operate in the green phase.

Since the governor’s announcement, the big question has been what constitutes a “meal.” The updated guidance stated that bars and restaurants were no longer permitted to sell alcohol for consumption on-site unless the customer also ordered a “meal.”

Since then, some bars and restaurants included low-cost snacks with the purchase of alcohol (we do not know of any that did this in our immediate area). According to the clarification, this does not satisfy the requirement for a “meal.” The clarifying document reads:

As noted in the additional guidance on the targeted, the term “meal” is defined in section 406 of the Liquor Code as “food prepared on the premises, sufficient to constitute breakfast, lunch or dinner.” The definition expressly states that a snack, such as pretzels, popcorn, chips or similar food does not meet the definition of a meal. Additional drinks may be purchased while the customer or a member of the customer’s group is consuming their meal, but no further drinks may be purchased after the meal is finished.

There is one caveat. For example, many breweries will not serve food in a way that meets the requirement but do bring in food trucks on a regular basis. This can continue as long as a process is put in place that requires the purchase of a meal from the truck when purchasing an alcoholic beverage.

There are other clarifications as well that mostly involve the math of how many people can be seated inside a restaurant. You can find the clarifying document here. You can find the frequently asked questions here.