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.