Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of John Sharp, Jr., and Albert Sharp, t/d/b/a Little Mansion Restaurant v. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, No. SA 190 of 1978.
David Shotel, Assistant Attorney General, with him Kenneth W. Makowski, Acting Chief Counsel, for appellant.
Robert Rade Stone, for appellees.
Judges Mencer, Rogers and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 45 Pa. Commw. Page 543]
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) appeals from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County requiring the PLCB to renew the liquor license of John and Albert Sharp (licensees). We affirm the lower court.
The facts are not in dispute. On May 21, 1971, the PLCB approved the licensees' application for a place-to-place transfer of a restaurant liquor license, pursuant to Section 403(a) of the Liquor Code (Code), Act of April 12, 1951, P.L. 90, as amended, 47 P.S. § 4-403(a), which states:
Every applicant for a hotel liquor license, restaurant liquor license or club liquor license or for the transfer of an existing license to another premises not then licensed shall file a written application with the board. . . . No physical alterations, improvements or changes shall be required to be made to any hotel, restaurant or club, nor shall any new building for any such purpose, be required to be constructed until approval of the application for license or for the transfer of an existing license to another premises not then licensed by the board. After approval of the application, the licensee shall
[ 45 Pa. Commw. Page 544]
make the physical alterations, improvements and changes to the licensed premises, or shall construct the new building in the manner specified by the board at the time of approval, and the licensee shall not transact any business under the license until the board has approved the completed physical alterations, improvements and changes to the licensed premises, or the completed construction of the new building as conforming to the specifications required by the board at the time of issuance or transfer of the license, and is satisfied that the establishment is a restaurant, hotel or club as defined by this act. The board may require that all such alterations or construction or conformity to definition be completed within six months from the time of issuance or transfer of the license.
As permitted by Section 403(a), the PLCB required that all remodeling and construction on the new premises be completed within six months. Pending approval of the work, the PLCB held the license for safekeeping.
Numerous complications prevented the licensees from completing the remodeling and construction on time, but the PLCB renewed the license each year for five years. However, in 1976 the PLCB notified the licensees that, after April 30, 1977, the license would not be renewed. Nevertheless, in 1977, the licensees applied for an additional renewal, which the PLCB refused. The licensees appealed, and the PLCB held a hearing, after which it again refused to renew the license.
Under Section 464 of the Code, 47 P.S. § 4-464, the licensees appealed to the lower court, which overruled the order of the PLCB and ordered the PLCB to renew the ...