Can Your File a New Liquor License Application After the First One Has Been Denied ?

In West Reading Tavern, Inc. v. Pennsylvania Liquor Control Bd., 710 A.2d 648 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1998), the Board approved the second application filed by a bistro for a new liquor license pursuant to Section 461. A nearby tavern challenged the Board's order, which was subsequently affirmed by common pleas. On appeal to our court, the tavern argued that the bistro's second application for a liquor license was barred by res judicata because the Board had previously denied the bistro's first application. The Court disagreed, stating in pertinent part: The question of conclusiveness and finality of any administrative determination involves many factors, including the terms of the statute, the substance and effect of the order . . . . the doctrine of res judicata is not applicable to this situation. The Liquor Code makes no restriction regarding the number of times a person may apply for a transfer, despite the fact that it fully and in great detail encompasses the field of liquor licensing and regulation. Had the legislature intended that there be a limit on the applications, so basic a matter, it would have so provided.. Id. at 650 [citing In re Haase, 184 Pa. Super. 356, 134 A.2d 682 (Pa. Super. 1957)]. Accordingly, the Court reject the Township's first contention.