Philly Bars Can Stay Open Much, Much Later Than Usual During the DNC — but There’s a Catch

Come for the convention, stay for the after-after-party. | bogdanhoda | bogdanhoda

This story has been updated to clarify the application process for a permit to extend alcohol service.

Your late nights could now go a little later – during the Democratic National Convention, at least — provided  your favorite bar is holding an event connected to the DNC.

A budget bill passed by the legislature yesterday includes a provision that could allow certain Philly bars to stay open past the usual 2 a.m. last call during the Democratic National Convention this month.

The state fiscal code will allow for bars holding events directly connected to the convention to apply for special events permits to stay open later than usual. The DNC will have to pay a one-time $5,000 fee to the Liquor Control Board for this exemption. The only catch? Events seeking to extend hours of alcohol service beyond 2 a.m. will need to complete an application from the DNC Host Committee, which will submit them to the PLCB. There is no fee associated with individual event applications, and the PLCB is expected to issue permits that both it and the DNC approves within a couple of days of receipt.

But what does an event “connected to the DNC” mean? According to DNC Host Committee spokesperson Anna Adams-Sarthou, “events in which invitations are directed to convention attendees or those associated with the convention qualify.”

The extra hours for qualifying venues will likely come in handy for frazzled convention-goers looking to blow off some steam as well as businesses, which could get the chance to make a little more money. After all, it’s been done before – Philly enacted a similar arrangement during the Republican Convention in 2000. The permits will also allow recipients to serve imported (aka not purchased through the state store system) and donated alcohol.

The permits could also apply to restaurants, hotels and other venues. It is not known at present how the DNC will take applications for event permits, but the DNC Host Committee will be approving permits in partnership with the mayor’s office. The PLCB will issue a summary of issued permits on its website beginning the week of July 18th.

The Democratic National Convention will be held July 25-29th. Most events will take place at the Wells Fargo Center and the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Get out there while you can. The deal’s off after the 29th.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.