PLCB now allowing some restaurants to sell wine that is only available through special order

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board announced today that it is re-opening its Special Order (SLO) program as of Wednesday, April 22nd. The SLO program provides consumers with the opportunity to obtain wines not stocked by the PLCB on the shelves of the Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores.

However, these special orders will not be available through the PLCB directly. You will have to go through a restaurant that has a special permit to sell wine by the bottle. Note, this doesn’t apply to spirits.

The only restaurant (we believe) that has this license in the Conshohocken area is Flanigan’s Boathouse, which operates the Below Deck Bottle Shop within its building.

What does that mean? The Below Deck Bottle Shop can get you any of the wine available on the shelf at the Fine Wine & Good Spirits store, plus any other wines that are available through the special order system. Note that it has to be ordered and delivered to the Below Deck Bottle Shop for you to pick-up. It is not same-day service. It also has to be in-stock. But, going through the Below Deck Bottle Shop will offer you a wider variety than what is currently available through the Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores.

Grocery stores also have this permit (as they sell wine by the bottle), so you should see some of the bottles they have traditionally carried (but have run out of) return to the shelves.

The Fine Wine & Good Spirits store at the Whitemarsh Shopping Center is currently offering a limited number of curbside pick-ups each day. And you have to call and hope to get through before they cut off orders for the day. Philadelphia magazine tried out this system today and it took 159 phone calls to place an order.

One thing to note. The PLCB limits restaurants to offering only two six-packs (or 192 ounces) of beer to-go. For wine its three liters. The Fine Wine & Good Spirits’ curbside system is currently limited to six bottles per day.