Committee approves legislation to enhance outdoor options for restaurants, taverns, breweries


Senator Regan

HARRISBURG – The Senate Law and Justice Committee, chaired by Sen. Mike Regan (R-York/Cumberland), approved legislation that would allow restaurants, bars, taverns, breweries and hotels with outdoor seating to have music during certain hours.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York), was introduced after many locally owned businesses were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdowns. Many restauranteurs invested in and expanded their outdoor seating options to ensure the safety of customers and staff during COVID-19 restrictions. The provisions in the legislation expand outdoor music options and limitations already available to wineries to all liquor license holders, including bars, taverns, restaurants, hotels, clubs and breweries.

“As these businesses look to get back on their feet, we can do more to cut the red tape and allow them to use these outdoor spaces to generate more revenue and allow greater experiences for their guests,” Phillips-Hill said during the committee meeting.

“The type of liquor license a business holds should not put them at a disadvantage in this scenario,” stated Regan. “But that has been the situation with these businesses wanting to host outdoor music events, and this bill levels the playing field.”

The bill would permit license holders to have amplified sound on premises, up to 75 decibels, on Sunday through Thursday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 9 p.m., and on Friday and Saturday between 10 a.m. and 12 a.m. The bill would be effective immediately.

Since 2019, wineries have been allowed to have similar sound levels during certain hours. 

The legislation advances to the Senate for its consideration.

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