Pennsylvania restaurant and tavern operators showed up today at a public hearing in Philadelphia to support state legislation that would allow them to sell wine “to go” and supply alcohol at events they cater away from their licensed properties.

KYW’s Steve Tawa reports that the House bill would give establishments with liquor licenses the ability to generate revenue by catering events such as weddings off premises, where bar service is offered in conjunction with a meal.

Ron Raymond (right), of the Pennsylvania Tavern Association, says that changing the law would ensure that events are managed by professionals, including how much alcohol is served and to whom.  He says that also relieves hosts of the event from having to watch over their guests’ consumption of alcohol:

“If you’ve been to some of the events that I’ve been to that are catered with no control, and I hear from local police all the time, this would be a cleaner way of doing things.”

Maj. John Lutz (holding microphone in top photo), director of the state police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, says they need to tweak the bill.   He is concerned about alcohol being served at undisclosed or unlicensed locations.

He also says off-site catered events would be difficult to police.

The other component of the proposed law would allow licensees to sell to each customer up to two unopened bottles of wine to go.   One restaurant owner who does wine tastings says he often gets requests from patrons about a wine they just sampled.

(Photos by KYW’s Steve Tawa)