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State to auction off 25 expired liquor licenses

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After auctioning off 26 expired restaurant liquor licenses in April, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is back with another batch of 25 licenses, its sixth auction in a process that began in 2016.

The board today said it will award one license each in 25 counties, including Dauphin and Lebanon.

To date, the PLCB has sold 191 licenses in auctions, which were authorized under the Act 39 liquor reform law in 2016.

Bid prices have fallen off since the first auction, which saw licenses in fast-growing areas such as Cumberland County and suburban Philadelphia sell for as much as $556,000. Licenses in smaller and more rural counties often sell near the minimum bid price of $25,000, while some licenses fail to attract any bids.

Supermarket chains such as Giant Food Stores and Weis Markets have been active at auctions, along with convenience-store chains such as Sheetz and Rutter's. Giant and Sheetz have been the biggest buyers in the auction format.

In the last auction, the high price was $350,000 for a license in Montgomery County. Four licenses received no bids in that auction.

Bids for the current auction are due by noon Aug. 2. Bids will be opened Aug. 6 and winners will be determined soon after.

The highest bidder wins the right to submit an application for the license to the PLCB within six months of auction award.

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin and Cumberland counties. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jscott@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal.

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