PA Happy Hour Rules Loosened

Good News: Effective Thursday, July 28th rules governing happy hour in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are going to be loosened up.

Bad News: Some of our favorite happy hour deals including late night happy hours are still illegal.

Effective on July 28, 2011, a retail licensee can hold happy hours up to four (4) hours per day and up to fourteen (14) hours per week. Thus, while the maximum period remains fourteen (14) hours per week, licensees will be able to adjust the length of their daily happy hours to take advantage of slow/busy days, as long as the maximum limits are not exceeded. The hours need not be consecutive, but the prohibition against giving discounts between midnight and closing remains intact, as well as the other discounting provisions in section 13.102 of the Board’s Regulations, including the daily drink special. A notice of all happy hours must now be posted on the licensed premises seven (7) days prior to each happy hour.

We look forward to seeing how creative bars use the new flexibility but wonder if the new rules will lead to cracking down on some current deals.