I was surprised to learn a few years ago that you could buy liquor to go on Frankford Avenue, by the glass. It sounds very convenient but its not conducive to a family atmosphere. The problem is due to lax enforcement of regulations already on the books by the Liquor Control Board. After months of pressure by the community there was an enforcement sweep last October which actually closed a few bars down for a few day but things are pretty much back to the way it was. See this link for the story.
Many of these bars operate with a Restaurant license and the regulation for that license requires that they be primarily in the business of serving food and that they have the tables and chairs for 30 customers to eat inside. Common sense would tell you that it does not mean having a rack of chips on the counter but that is what some of these places do. It does not mean having chairs stacked up in the corner. It does not mean having an inside space on 4 feet wide and 15 feet long.
What is needed, is that the licenses should be suspended until those businesses comply with the existing regulations. It’s not brain science. It is not being enforced. Not one of the bars visited in the sweep in October was cited for that violation.
Thanks to our Councilperson, Maria Quiñones-Sanchez, City Council is considering giving additional muscle to Health Department restaurant inspectors that could give them the power to shut down nuisances. She has been helping Frankford in terms of pulling together the necessary City departments on an ongoing basis to address the issues that residents are complaining about on Frankford avenue around nuisance businesses in general (bars and stop and go stores included).Read the story at the link below then email her office at Maria.Q.Sanchez@phila.gov and say thanks.