If you’re a local bar or restaurant owner, you need to be on the lookout for the state’s Happy Plate patrol.
Apparently, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Enforcement is citing businesses that serve food alongside alcoholic drinks if their customers aren’t eating enough of their meals.
A bar and restaurant in Johnstown found out the hard way. Governor Tom Wolf’s strange orders in July about serving food with booze left some gray area for enforcement officers to target.
PLCE Happy Plate Patrol
The Freight Station in Johnstown says it’s going to be cited by PLCE in the very near future after one of its officers did a spot check on the place over the weekend. The officer popped in and apparently, not enough customers were actually eating the food they ordered. At least, they weren’t eating enough to satisfy the LCE officer.
Owner Lance Ross tells WJAC-TV that the LCE officer said he’d be citing the business for violations of the Governor Wolf’s July order. In response, Ross decided to temporarily close his business rather than deal with the vague order.
“He said people had food in front of them but not everybody was eating it,” Ross told WJAC-TV. “They said it wasn’t enough and that’s where the discrepancy is what wasn’t enough.”
Ross believed his Freight Station business was following the loony July order from Wolf that mandated bars, if they wanted to stay open, to serve food with adult beverage orders. Drinks, alone, would not cut it because apparently just drinking increases the spread of COVID-19. But ordering some food with that drink reduces the risk.
Here in Schuylkill County, we found a bar in Cressona that tried working around this rule by serving buttered bread, for example, as a meal with drink orders.
And the Schuylkill County Dept. of Memes had some fun with the ridiculous “logic” behind Wolf’s order.
Not amused by any of it, Wolf ordered the Liquor Control Board, under the leadership of Saint Clair’s own Tim Holden, to define what was a meal and what was just a snack.
So, now the Liquor Control Enforcement troopers are going around and not only checking to see that what’s being ordered at bars is considered a meal under state rules but also to ensure patrons are making happy plates.
Usually, the term Nanny State is just a metaphor but we’ve literally entered the Nanny State with this latest action by PLCE under Wolf’s orders.
“I thought I was following the guidelines by everybody was purchasing food and as far as I could tell the majority of people were eating food they bought,” the Johnstown business owner tells WJAC-TV.
PLCE COVID-19 Enforcement Data
According to information made public by LCE, nearly 1,200 licensee checks for COVID-19 compliance were conducted between Aug. 10-11. Officers issued 18 warnings and cited 5 businesses they found in violation of these vague orders that seem to change by the day.
No “granular” details were made available to the public.
Check out the full report from WJAC-TV here:
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