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Clients always ask me what hours can they legally be open and sell alcoholic beverages on Sundays. There are 23,481 licenses issued in Pennsylvania and the answer depends upon what specific type of license that a licensee holds, and you must be aware of those hourly restrictions.

Restaurant and hotel liquor licensees and retail dispenser licensees with Sunday sales permits may dispense alcohol between 11 A.M. Sunday and 2 A.M. Monday. However a licensee with a Sunday sales permit may begin dispensing alcohol at 9 A.M., provided the licensee offers a meal beginning at 9:00 A.M.

Airport Restaurant Liquor (AR) licensees with Sunday sales permits may dispense alcohol between 5 A.M. Sunday and 2 A.M. on Monday morning as a result of the Act 39 amendments to the liquor code effective August 8,2016.

There are specific statutory exceptions for certain holidays where a Sunday sales permit is not required for legal sales on Sunday.

Hotel and restaurant liquor license as well as airport restaurant liquor licensees are permitted to sell alcohol – even without possessing a Sunday sales permit – between 1 P.M. Sunday and 2 A.M. Monday on Super Bowl Sunday, as well as December 31, when New Year’s Eve falls on a Sunday. Additionally, when March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, falls on a Sunday, no Sunday sales permit is required for restaurant liquor and hotel liquor licensees to sell alcohol between 7 A.M. and 2 A.M.

Act 39 of 2016 also allows a hotel or restaurant liquor licensee to sell liquor and malt or brewed beverages on Groundhog Day from 7:00 A.M. to 2:00 A.M. the following day, when that day falls on a Sunday, regardless of whether the licensee has a Sunday sales permit. This exception only includes restaurant or hotel liquor licensee. No exception was made for eating place retail dispensers (a/k/a “E licenses”) or other types of licensees.

Eating Place Malt Beverage (E), Hotel Malt Beverage (L) licensees may sell malt or brewed beverages on December 31 if that date occurs on a Sunday.

Distributor (D) and Importing Distributor (ID) licensees may not sell malt or brewed beverages on Sunday without having a Sunday Sales Permit. D and ID licensees with Sunday sales permits may sell malt and brewed beverages on Sunday between 9 A.M. and 9 P.M. to non-licensed persons and owners of Special Occasion Permits.

Note: Aside from the above specific stated exceptions where no Sunday sales permit is required, if you are a restaurant liquor or a hotel liquor licensee who obtained a wine expanded permit for sales of “wine to go” as authorized by Act 39, you must first have a Sunday sales permit and your sales of wine to go must stop at 11:00 P.M., the normal hours.

You should always consult with your private attorney regarding Sunday sales hours as they relate to your specific type of license issued by the PLCB. We would be happy to answer any questions regarding Sunday sales hours. We can be reached at 215.545.3682 or via email contact@paliquorlaw.com