Here’s the Illinois Liquor Control Commission’s recent guidance regarding limited operations for delivery and to-go sales during enforcement the Executive Order terminating on-premise consumption at bars and restaurants through March 30.

Drinking a beer, wine, or spirit in a bar or restaurant is currently on hold in Illinois. The Illinois Liquor Control Commission posted two pieces of information yesterday concerning compliance with the current Illinois Executive Order 2020-7 which prohibits Illinois’s bars and restaurants from selling alcohol for on-premise consumption. 

The first document is a directive from the ILCC regarding implementation of the Executive Order. You can read a copy of it here.

The second is a Q&A style frequently asked questions list (one anticipates many businesses and industry trade groups inundated the ILCC in the past few days regarding the implications of the ban regarding on-premise consumption) related to the effects and implementation of the order.

Key points from the directive are that all business that can sell at retail are allowed to make “to-go” sales, but while those with off-premise retailer licenses are allowed to deliver alcohol,  manufacturers including brewpubs and distilling pubs are not allowed to deliver directly to consumers and neither are solely on-premise licensed retailers:

All license holders authorized by the State Commission and local liquor control commissions to sell alcoholic liquor, non-alcoholic liquor and food at retail for consumption off the licensed premises may conduct “in-person” sales on a “to go” basis only but not for the consumption on the licensed premises. License holders that normally have this privilege include: combined (on/off consumption) retailers, off-premises only retailers, brew pubs, distilling pubs, brewers, class 1 brewers, class 2 brewers, class 1 craft distillers, and class 2 craft distillers

Subject to local ordinance, license holders with the authority to sell alcoholic liquor for off premises consumption may conduct in-house delivery, third-party delivery, drive-through service, curbside pick-up and home delivery. Home deliveries are not permitted for license holders required to make “in-person” packaged sales (e.g. brew pubs, distilling pubs). 

With regard to the Q&A, it is so important that in addition to linking it above, we thought it best to just provide it here as well:

Illinois Liquor Control Commission COVID-19

FAQ’s as of 03/16/2020

Q. Can an on-premises ONLY liquor license holder sell for off premise consumption and deliver alcohol?
A. Only those license holders that are currently authorized for off-premise sales may continue to conduct such sales.
Q. Can an on-premises ONLY liquor license holder allow customers into premises for video gaming?
A. No, pursuant to an order issued by the Illinois Gaming Board, all licensed video gaming operations must cease 9pm on March 16, 2020.
Q. I have a private party scheduled at my licensed venue, ex: wedding. Do those events need to be cancelled?
A. Yes.
Q. I have a caterer retailer license. Can I sell/serve food and beverages to more than 50 people at a private residence?
A. No, as of March 18, 2020.
Q. Are we allowed to receive liquor deliveries during the two weeks we are closed?
A. Yes, but all requirements for product returns are still in effect.
Q. Do we need to contact our vendors to make sure they do not deliver to our bar or restaurant?
A. If you choose not to accept deliveries, please contact your distributor and make all necessary arrangements.
Q. What time must bars and restaurants cease on-premise service pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order?
A. 9pm on March 16, 2020 through the end of calendar day on March 30, 2020.
Q. Are golf courses, social clubs, and private clubs with on-premises liquor licenses subject to this closure order?
A. Yes, if they continue to sell/serve beverages and food for on-premises consumption.
Q. Are alcohol tastings still permitted at a bar, restaurant, or other off-premise retail locations?
A. No, to the extent that such tastings are conducted on-site.
Q. Can on-premises licensed establishments have private meetings, private events, weddings etc.?
A. No, all on-site premises consumption is suspended. The Executive Order also prohibits these events if there are more than 50 people in attendance. Licensed establishments may not provide food or beverages for on-premises consumption.
Q. Can on premise licensed establishments have private events if the event brings their own alcoholic beverages?
A. Not if the event is for more than 50 people and is on or after March 18, 2020.
Q. Can on-premise licensed establishments accept deliveries from beer, wine and liquor wholesalers?
A. Yes.
Q. Can growlers and crowlers be sold curbside or drive through?
A. On-premises license holders that are currently authorized to sell to sell growlers and crowlers for off-premises consumption may continue to do so only as consistent with 235 ILCS 5/6-6.5 and the Executive Order.
Q. Can “Combined” on and off-premises license holders continue to sell packaged alcoholic liquor if they don’t sell for on-premises consumption?
A. Yes. Combined on and off-premise license holders may continue to sell packaged alcoholic liquor consistent with Illinois law if they are properly licensed.
Q. Can patrons who purchase pick up meals eat these meals on patios, decks or other area’s on licensee’s property?
A. No. Consumption on patios, decks or other areas on licensees’ property is consider on-site consumption.
Q. Which agencies or law enforcement entities will be enforcing all the new restrictions?
A. All agencies with law enforcement authority, including but not limited to Illinois Liquor Control Commission, Illinois State Police, Illinois Department of Public Health, and Local Law Enforcement may coordinate and enforce the new restrictions as appropriate.
Q. Does the Executive Order impact all alcoholic-liquor retailers?
A. The Executive Order impacts all alcoholic liquor license holders and non-license holders authorized to sell food and beverages for consumption on the licensed premise.
Q. Is this closure statewide?
A. Yes, the closure is statewide.
Q. Can a retailer that sells carry-out food also sell beer to-go as well.
A. Retailers that are licensed sell alcoholic liquor for off-premise consumption may continue to do so.
Q. Can alcoholic liquor be sold and delivered to a private home?
A. Subject to local ordinance, home delivery of alcoholic liquor in the original container is permitted for licensed retailers (not brew pubs, distilling pubs, manufacturers) who are authorized to sell alcoholic liquor for off-premises consumption.
Q. Can alcoholic liquor be sold for curbside pick-up?
A. Subject to local ordinance, curbside pickup of alcoholic liquor in the original container is permitted if the license holder is authorized to sell alcoholic liquor for off-premise consumption.
Q. What are the laws that govern drive-through liquor windows?
A. Subject to local ordinance, drive-through alcoholic liquor sales in the original container are allowed if the license holder is authorized to sell alcoholic liquor for off-premise consumption.
Q. May an on-premises ONLY business sell alcoholic liquor via home delivery, drive-through, curbside pickup or “to go.”
A. No.
Q. How will this affect movie theaters? Can they continue to operate the theater and the other food service, just without the sale of alcohol?
A. The Executive Order applies to all businesses in the State of Illinois that offer food or beverages (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) beverages for on-premises consumption.
Q. How are grocery stores affected?
A. Grocery stores are not permitted to sell alcoholic liquor for on-premise consumption or conduct tastings. They may continue to sell alcoholic liquor for consumption off-premise.
Q. May a hotel/motel with a liquor license continue to sell food and beverages via room service, mini-bar or to go?
A. Yes, if authorized for such sales by the local liquor control commission.
Q. May a business sell food, alcoholic liquor or non-alcoholic liquor for consumption on the premises of an airport, hospital building, or college/university dining hall?
A. Yes, consistent with existing license restrictions.
Q. May a non-resident dealer or manufacturer of alcoholic liquor sell or deliver alcoholic liquor to a licensed distributor if the distributor has not expressly authorized such sale and delivery?
A. No.

Ashley Brandt

Hi there! I’m happy you’re here. My name is Ashley Brandt and I’m an attorney in Chicago representing clients in the Food and Beverage, Advertising, Media, and Real Estate industries. A while back I kept getting calls and questions from industry professionals and attorneys looking for advice and information on a fun and unique area of law that I’m lucky enough to practice in. These calls represented a serious lack of, and need for, some answers, news, and information on the legal aspects of marketing and media. I've got this deep seeded belief that information should be readily available and that the greatest benefit from the information age is open access to knowledge... so ... this blog seemed like the best way to accomplish that. I enjoy being an attorney and it’s given me some amazing opportunities, wonderful experiences, and an appreciation and love for this work. I live in Chicago and work at an exceptional law firm, Goldstein & McClintock, with some truly brilliant people. Feel free to contact me at any time with any issues, comments, concerns… frankly, after reading this far, I hope you take the time to at least let me know what you think about the blog and how I can make it a better resource.

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