Ravenstahl bill supporting community social clubs approved in key committee vote

Bill protects social club liquor licenses in event of fire, renovations

HARRISBURG, Oct. 21 – Legislation by state Rep. Adam Ravenstahl, D-Allegheny, which would allow community social clubs to save their liquor licenses in the event of extenuating circumstances, has been approved in a key committee vote.

The legislation, H.B. 1886, would allow social clubs to put their licenses into safekeeping beyond the current two-year limitation for a small fee, similar to the current regulations in effect for restaurant owners.

“Our social clubs are part of the fabric of our communities, literally from cradle to grave. They play host to baby showers, college and high school graduation parties, weddings and wakes,” Ravenstahl said. “Despite their importance, they are not afforded the same protections as other organizations. My bill aims to level this playing field and to ensure that social clubs can continue to serve as a community meeting ground, even if they need to close for a period of time."

There are several reasons why a licensee may choose to do this, such as renovation, flood, fire, etc. However, unlike most other liquor licensees, club licensees are only permitted to keep their liquor license in safekeeping for one year, plus an additional year for an added fee. If the club licensee should need to exceed this time frame there are no other options to renew their license and they face the risk of revocation.

Ravenstahl’s legislation now moves to the House, where it can be scheduled for a full vote.