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Judge rules in favor of Bethlehem bar seeking liquor license renewal

Tally Ho liquor.jpg
Screen capture
Tally Ho website
A Northampton County Judge has restored the Tally Ho Tavern's liquor license, overruling a decision by the State LCB.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — “Belly up to the bar” is not merely a slogan of the past at Tally Ho Tavern.

The long-time popular saloon on West Fourth Street in South Bethlehem received a positive ruling by a Northampton County judge on Thursday in its efforts to renew its liquor license.

  • A Northampton County judge overrules State LCB, allowing for renewal of Tally Ho Tavern's liquor license
  • The judge found the tavern owners have implemented enough remedies of past violations
  • Orion Restaurant Group III, tavern owners, have not received a violation in five years

In a 33-page opinion, Judge John M. Morganelli reversed a July 27, 2022, order of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board that put the license in a conditional licensing agreement from May 1, 2018, to April 30, 2020, and the license period from May 1, 2020, to April 30, 2022.

“In the matter before us, we do not see the evidence in the same light as the PLCB did, nor do we draw the same conclusions as did the PLCB.”
Northampton County Judge John M. Morganelli

A conditional license establishes a framework for how an establishment can retain a liquor license. A violation of that framework gives the LCB authority to essentially freeze the license application.

'Nor do we draw the same conclusions'

“In the matter before us, we do not see the evidence in the same light as the PLCB did, nor do we draw the same conclusions as did the PLCB,” Morganelli wrote.

He wrote that Tally Ho owner Orion Restaurant Group III Inc. "has timely implemented substantial remedy measures in response to incidents to maximize safety at the Tally Ho and to address any concerns the PLCB may have about its operations.

"Orion has not received a single citation for more than five years. Accordingly, we will enter the attached order reversing the PLCB ruling and renewing the license.”

The tavern is owned and operated by Orion partners including Daljit Behl, Harjaap Chatha and Simran Kaur, who assumed ownership many years after the conditional licensing agreement was imposed.

The Tally Ho has a history of legal wrangling with the LCB.

In 2017, the LCB pulled Tally Ho’s liquor license because of violations — including selling liquor to undercover LCB officers without checking their personal identification.

In 2018, the tavern committed several violations, including noise violations from loudspeakers blaring beyond its property; failure to vacate patrons 30 minutes after 2 a.m. liquor sale closing time; and allowing smoking in a prohibited area, court records showed.