PLCB: New 2-for-1 Shake Shack Philadelphia Happy Hour Is Illegal (UPDATED)

Photo by Matt Gari

Photo by Matt Gari

UPDATE 11/14/2013: Shake Shack has canceled its illegal 2-for-1 happy hour. “We are working with the PLCB on approval for our new happy hour concept,” reports Shake Shack publicist Jacklin Rhoads.


So, the Philadelphia Shake Shack is promoting a new weekday happy hour, as was mentioned here on Foobooz on Monday, the first day of the special. According to Shake Shack’s own website, which announced the details of the new happy hour last week, patrons can “enjoy 2-for-1 beer and wine from 4-6 p.m., Monday through Thursday.”

And given that those beers include Victory Brewing Company’s Festbier and the Shack’s exclusive ShackMesiter Ale from Brooklyn Brewery, that’s a pretty good deal. Too bad it’s illegal.

Sorry, Shake Shack, but the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board doesn’t allow for such fun and games. I will refer you to Chapter 13, Subchapter C of the Pennsylvania Liquor Code.

There, you will find a whole list of things that you are not allowed to do when it comes to discounting drinks, and the 2-for-1 program is explicitly prohibited. Otherwise, don’t you think more bars would do it? (Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are bars that do it… they just don’t advertise that they’re doing it.)

Reading from a list of prohibited “discount pricing practices”:

The sale or serving, or both, of more than one drink of liquor, wine, or malt or brewed beverages at any one time to any one person, for the price of one drink.

And just to make sure that we’re not misinterpreting the liquor code, I ran it by PLCB spokesperson Stacy Kriedeman, who confirms that 2-for-1 drink specials are “illegal.”

But, hey, bars do lots of things that are illegal: bartenders drinking on the job; most all-you-can-drink promotions; late night happy hours that don’t end before midnight… the list goes on.

So does this mean the end of the Shake Shack Philadelphia happy hour just one day after it began? A Shake Shack manager didn’t return a call seeking comment.

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  • no

    Oh, that’s EASY to fix – now instead of two-for-one, its one for half-price.

    Problem solved.

  • PhillyR

    Plenty of bars that operate without a valid license in Philly. SO PLCB continues to pick and choose what laws to enforce as usual

  • Burger lovers

    Way to blow up their spot

  • CaptainLogic

    PLCB likely does not pick and choose, just deal with what crosses their desk. The more high-profile the joint, more likely to get banged.

  • yo

    i think you can do it if two people are present at the time of purchase. which it seems you’d want to do anyway so your beer doesnt get warm

  • lloyd

    wow. you are pathetic. do you get extra for playing hall monitor?

  • JA

    If I didn’t see Shake Shack in the headline, I’d almost think that “Vic” (may I call you that?), caught Whole Foods selling 2 for 1 beers at Happy Hour? Why are you gloating? It’s not like you figured this out on your own!

  • Nay nay

    So, the “city wide special” is illegal. That is two drinks for one price.

    • It’s likely the PLCB is also not a fan of George Thorogood or his “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer.”

  • will

    What a narc. You totally suck dude.

  • Flotz

    Why is this an article on the site and not a phone call to the manager? Because you are a douchebag.

  • Rich Kelly

    This is what happens when governments run businesses. Get PA out of the liquor business. By looking at the picture it would appear that Shake Shack is doing well in spite of the government. They would do even better if government would butt out

  • boh23

    This guy sucks. Go write a real story, preferably about something important and that doesn’t cost me a free drink.

  • Steve

    Thanks, Dick Fiorillo.

    Are you a lawyer? Is the PLCB spokesperson one? Maybe you should leave the declarations of what is legal and what is illegal to people qualified to determine that,