SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — The Illinois House and Senate this weekend both overwhelmingly passed a bill that would allow bars and restaurants to sell pre-mixed cocktails for pickup and delivery amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill, HB 2682, passed both houses on Saturday. Gov. JB Pritzker still must sign it.
Under current Illinois law, only sealed bottles of liquor and mixers can be sold – cocktail kits customers have to put together at home – and the bar industry said that profit margin is tiny.
In the interest of changing the law, mixologist Julia Momose of Kumiko in the West Loop launched Cocktails for Hope. She recently told CBS 2’s Tara Molina it will help keep the bars and restaurants that make Chicago unique from closing their doors.
Under the new law, pre-mixed cocktails would have to be delivered by an employee over 21 who also must verify the age of the recipient. The products must be properly sealed and inaccessible to the delivery drivers.
Third-party delivery services are not allowed to deliver pre-mixed cocktails under the bill.
At a news conference Sunday, a reporter asked Gov. Pritzker why bars and restaurants – which have been closed since March 16 on account of the pandemic – don’t just reopen now.
Pritzker noted that bars and restaurants will be allowed to reopen for outdoor service, and only outdoor service, as the state moves to Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan at the end of this month – though that will not apply in Chicago until a later date. But the governor said when the science indicates that indoor dining is a high-risk activity when it comes to coronavirus transmission, the state has to listen.