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Update March 17 - Alcohol Sale Guidance for Restaurants in Illinois and Chicago

Tuesday, March 17, 2020  
Posted by: Matt Quinn
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The Illinois Restaurant Association continues to engage with local, state, and federal officials to help our employers and employees address concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19).

IRA member Laner Muchin has provided best practices for employers to navigate coronavirus.

Please see the below resources and information for your business - updated as of 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17.

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Update March 17 - ILCC: Restaurants with "Combined" Liquor Licenses Permitted to Sell Alcohol for Carry Out, Pick Up, and Delivery


Following Governor Pritzker's Executive Order that mandates the closure of on-premise dining in Illinois restaurants (but permits carry out/take out/to-go food), the IRA has gained further clarification from the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) about what operations are permitted for restaurants that have a liquor license.  

Last night, ILCC issued a Compliance Directive which confirms that "combined" on and off-premises liquor license holders may sell packaged alcoholic liquor. This means a restaurant with the proper liquor license may sell unopened packages of beer, wine, or spirits to customers for carry out or take out. However, no open containers of alcohol can be sold to customers by combined liquor license holders. Furthermore, "combined" liquor license holders are permitted to sell and deliver unopened, packaged alcohol to a private home. 

Click here to read the full FAQ from ILCC. Businesses that are unsure about the classification of their state liquor license should contact the ILCC for additional information. 

The IRA commends the state of Illinois for working with our hospitality community to ensure flexible, commonsense practices that allow Illinois' restaurants to stay open and serve communities during this crisis.

City of Chicago - Incidental Liquor Licensed Restaurants Permitted to Sell Alcohol for Carry Out, Pick Up, and Delivery

 

The IRA has also obtained updated guidance related to the sale of alcohol by restaurants from the City of Chicago's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP). 

The city's guidance confirms that restaurants with a Consumption on Premises-Incidental Activity liquor license can sell and deliver alcohol in Chicago, under the following conditions: 

  • Consumption on premises-incidental activity and tavern liquor licensees in the City of Chicago can sell and deliver incidental packaged goods liquor. By definition they have local approval.

  • Liquor sales and delivery must occur during liquor sale hours as defined in the Municipal Code 4-60-130.

  • Licensees must verify proof of age.

  • No cash on delivery; the transaction must take place at the retail licensee

  • Only sealed packaged goods in their original container (no to-go cups) can be sold or delivered

  • Additional restrictions on delivery may apply to those who are licensed by the State as brew pubs, distilling pubs and manufacturers. These businesses should contact the ILCC for additional information. 

Click here to read the updated FAQ from BACP. 

The IRA appreciates the City of Chicago's collaborative work to provide clear guidance on these important operational questions for local restaurants. 

 

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Update March 16 - State of Illinois Executive Order: "To-Go", Carry Out, Take Out Permitted

 

Governor Pritzker has issued an official Executive Order that mandates the closure of on-premise dining in Illinois restaurants. Due to the advocacy of the IRA, the Executive Order clarifies that "to-go", carry out, and take out will be permitted at Illinois restaurants. 

Click here to read the text of the Executive Order. Read the paragraph related to restaurants below: 

"Beginning March 16, 2020 at 9:00 p.m. through March 30, 2020, all businesses in the State of Illinois that offer food or beverages for on-premises consumption—including restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and food halls—must suspend service for and may not permit on-premises consumption. Such businesses are permitted and encouraged to serve food and beverages so that they may be consumed off-premises, as currently permitted by law, through means such as in-house delivery, third-party delivery, drive-through, and curbside pick-up. In addition, customers may enter the premises to purchase food or beverages for carry-out. However, establishments offering food or beverages for carry-out, including food trucks, must ensure that they have an environment where patrons maintain adequate social distancing. Businesses located in airports, hospitals, and dining halls in colleges and universities are exempt from the requirements of this Executive Order. Hotel restaurants may continue to provide room service and carry-out. Catering services may continue." 

Additional operational guidelines are expected from the state of Illinois soon. We will share this information as soon as it is available. 

 

City of Chicago Issues Guidance for Restaurants and Bars

 

Following Governor Pritzker's Executive Order, the city of Chicago has issued additional guidance for restaurants and bars. 

Effective tonight, and lasting through March 30th, all restaurants and bars must cease their regular operations and follow updated guidelines:

  • The consumption of food or beverage is not permitted inside a restaurant or bar

  • Congregation of any kind is not permitted inside or outside a restaurant or bar

  • Drive-thru, delivery and carry out or curbside pick-up can continue, with the restaurant owner responsible to ensure social distancing policies are in place and followed.

Click here to read the notice and FAQs from the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP). 

Visit the city of Chicago's COVID-19 website for the latest updates.  

Report suspect coronavirus cases to CDPH immediately (within 3 hours) by calling 312-746-SICK (7425) Monday through Friday during business hours or 311 during evenings, weekends, and holidays.

 

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Update March 15 - Restaurants Must Close to the Public at 9:00 p.m. Monday, Additional Guidance Expected Tomorrow


Many questions remain following today's announcement of the closure of on-site dining at restaurants and bars in Illinois. Please know that our first priority is giving each of you the necessary information to run your business, help your employees, and serve your customers during this extremely difficult time.

The state of Illinois is expected to issue guidelines and FAQs tomorrow regarding the two week closure of on-site dining at restaurants. The IRA has confirmed from the Governor's office that restaurants must close their dining room operations to the public effective 9:00 p.m. Monday, March 16, regardless of what time the business usually closes. 

The IRA is looking forward to receiving clear guidelines from the state about what will be permitted at Illinois restaurants regarding carry out/take out and curbside pickup. We will share this information as soon as it becomes available.

This is an unprecedented, fluid situation that is changing rapidly. We will continue to work nonstop with local, state, and federal officials to provide immediate relief and guidance to employers and employees in the hospitality industry across Illinois. We are here to serve you.

 

State of Illinois - Restaurants Closed to Public 

 

This afternoon, the IRA was informed by Governor Pritzker’s office that a temporary, two-week shut down of restaurants statewide is essential in the interest of public health. 

Governor Pritzker has ordered the closure of on-site dining at restaurants and bars in Illinois, effective at close of business Monday, March 16 until Monday, March 30. Delivery, drive-thru, and curbside pickup options will be allowed, but dining in is not permitted during this temporary shut down. Click here to read the official state press release. 

The IRA understands that our members have urgent concerns and questions regarding this closure announcement. We are working around the clock with local, state and federal officials to help employers and employees address the short and long-term business concerns around this temporary closure. 

Safety is our number one priority, and we must rely on the advisement of medical experts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Our team remains vigilant in helping Illinois’ hospitality industry navigate the immediate challenges that come with this rapidly-changing landscape. 

We are currently working with other stakeholders to explore all possible avenues of economic and regulatory relief for our industry in the days and weeks ahead.

Read more from Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, and stay tuned for more updates.  

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

 

Click here for the latest guidance for businesses and employers from the CDC.  

If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure. 

Click here for cleaning and disinfecting protocols from the CDC. 

Click here for a one-pager on what to do if you are sick with coronavirus. 

 

National Restaurant Association

 

The National Restaurant Association has put together a robust online resource with industry-specific guidance on coronavirus for restaurant owners and operators. 

Click here for actionable information and resources for restaurant operators. 


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