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WEISS LIQUOR LICENSE CASE. (06/11/58)

June 11, 1958

WEISS LIQUOR LICENSE CASE.


Appeal, No. 107, Oct. T., 1958, from order of Court of Quarter Sessions of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1956, No. 1131, in the matter of the transfer of a restaurant liquor license to premises 601 N. 34th Street, sur application of Max Weiss, also known as Max's Bar. Order affirmed.

COUNSEL

George Celain, with him Erwin L. Pincus, for appellant.

Russell C. Wismer, Special Assistant Attorney General, with him Horace A. Segelbaum, Deputy Attorney General, and Thomas D. McBride, Attorney General, for Liquor Control Board, appellee.

Israel Stiefel, for protestant, appellee.

Before Rhodes, P.j., Gunther, Wright, Woodside, Ervin, and Watkins, JJ. (hirt, J., absent).

Author: Wright

[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 91]

OPINION BY WRIGHT, J.

Max Weiss filed with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board an application for the transfer of a restaurant liquor license, originally issued for premises at 16th and Walnut Streets, to premises at 601 North 34th Street in the City of Philadelphia. The application was protested by the Thirty-fourth Street Baptist Church. The Board granted the application, whereupon the church appealed to the Court of Quarter Sessions. Said tribunal sustained the appeal of the church, and vacated the order of the Board. Max Weiss has appealed.

The Liquor Code*fn1 is to be liberally construed in the interest of the public welfare and not in aid of an individual seeking the transfer of a liquor license for his private gain: Booker Hotel Corporation Liquor License Case, 175 Pa. Superior Ct. 89, 103 A.2d 486. Under Section 464 of said statute (47 P.S. 4-464) churches located within 300 feet of the licensed premises are expressly permitted to appeal from the Board's approval of any such transfer. The reason given by appellee's distinguished counsel for this statutory provision is set forth in the footnote.*fn2

[ 187 Pa. Super. Page 92]

In the case at bar there was a hearing on November 19, 1956, before the Board's examiner. An enforcement officer testified as to his investigation of the premises. Three witnesses testified on behalf of the protestant, and the applicant testified briefly in rebuttal. Counsel for appellee asserts that the examiner recommended that the transfer be disapproved. Be that as it may, on November 30, 1956, the Board addressed a letter to counsel for appellee stating therein that the license had been transferred. Following the church's timely appeal, the Court of Quarter Sessions conducted a hearing de novo. In the absence of any fact finding by the Board, the court properly made its own findings. See Haase Liquor License Case, 184 Pa. Superior Ct. 356, 134 A.2d 682. Those pertinent to the issue before us are as follows:

"3. The said Max's Bar is located within 300 feet of the 34th Street Baptist Church, to wit, ...


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