The Nuisance Bar Program

The Nuisance Bar Program, first established in 1990, facilitates the PLCB’s refusal of license renewal when a licensee has abused its license privileges through a pattern of violations or conduct that threatens the health and safety of the local community. 

The program seeks the input and partnership of local communities, law enforcement partners, government authorities and the General Assembly to help eliminate “problem bars” from communities.

The Board typically objects to the renewal of more than 150 licenses annually, often under its statutory obligation to protect the safety, peace, health and welfare of the commonwealth [47 P.S. § 1-104(a)]. 

The program has been able to deny licensed authority to the establishments at times when the various police or other government powers have been unable to do so.

Additionally, local authorities including police, district attorneys and judges can play roles in closing a licensed establishment, most often in the interest of public safety.

County Common Pleas Courts have the authority to overturn PLCB decisions not to renew or grant liquor licenses.  If a licensee appeals the PLCB’s refusal of a license, the licensing matter is appealed to the Court of Common Pleas in the county where the license applicant is located. 

Additionally, should either the PSP BLCE or the license applicant contest the Office of ALJ’s determination of a citation matter, the Office of ALJ’s adjudication can be appealed to the Court of Common Pleas in the county where the license applicant is located.

A county judge’s decision is binding on the PLCB.