Under a provision of the recently reformed state liquor law, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is auctioning off a batch of expired restaurant liquor licenses, including seven in the midstate.
The board will solicit bids until Oct. 27 on the 40 licenses, which are spread between 21 counties where demand is expected to be high. There are two licenses each in Dauphin, Lancaster and York counties, plus one in Cumberland County.
The auction marks the first time since Prohibition that the state has made available new licenses beyond the existing quota, according to the PLCB.
Statewide, about 1,200 licenses have expired since 2000, so additional auctions will follow in the coming months and years.
The first auction is serving as a test of PLCB processes and of the market, according to the PLCB.
The minimum bid for each license is $25,000. Each bid must be accompanied by a $5,000 bid surety intended to avoid frivolous and underfunded bids.
The highest bidder for each license will win the right to apply for the license within six months of auction award, according to the PLCB.