SPRINGFIELD – In an attempt to help shuttered restaurants, bars, and venues during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, State Senator Sara Feigenholtz championed a law permitting mixed drink delivery and takeout. To many establishments this effort was vital, enabling them to keep their doors open during the extended stay-at-home order.
This week, Governor Pritzker signed a five-year extension for cocktails to-go into law so that establishments can continue this wildly popular practice.
“The pandemic has changed the dining out habits of many. At the time, cocktails to-go was necessary, and many continue to enjoy the convenience for entertaining at home,” Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) said. “The hospitality industry is filled with food and drink artists who are in constant reinvention mode. Giving them room to create their craft is how Chicago has become the number one culinary destination in the world.”
The proposal — led by Feigenholtz — allows bars and restaurants to continue the practice of delivering and allowing carryout of mixed drinks through Aug. 1, 2028. The current law, commonly referred to as ‘cocktails to-go,’ was set to expire Jan. 1, 2024.
“Times have changed,” said Feigenholtz. “In 2015, I fought to pass the Culinary and Hospitality Modernization Act to restore creativity, flexibility and growth to Illinois bars and restaurants who had been facing revenue challenges as they were prohibited from offering happy hour deals and drink specials. Extending the sunset on cocktails to-go continues this fight to support our world-class culinary institutions by allowing a safe, creative and modern approach to happy hour.”
Senate Bill 89 was signed into law on Wednesday and takes effect immediately.