On Friday, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission issued an FAQ geared at implementing the recent Illinois Phase 3 re-opening criteria for taprooms, tasting rooms, bars, taverns, restaurants and other alcohol establishments serving food (that’s a requirement in this phase for most operations (more on that tomorrow as that type of criteria is being challenged across the country)).
Helpful information. We’ve got much of it below. Here’s the brief breakdown:
- You need to serve food unless your local liquor control commissioner lets you serve food on a roof or indoors where 50% or more of an open window or a wall that can be removed with tables 8ft from the open window/wall;
- Outdoor service only (what “outdoor” means varies, but think outside or with giant open windows and garage doors);
- Parties of 6 people or less;
- Local liquor laws and regulations are paramount, so check to ensure your municipality allows this;
- Municipalities can extend or create areas for you to expand into (think closing streets for you to have more outdoor seating space for service);
- You may need special use permit for expanded location outdoors;
- The FAQ also includes some helpful information for local liquor commissioners in establishing special use permit processes; and
- Non-adjacent locations authorized by municipalities will require a special use permit from ILCC.
You’ll want to take the time to read through the full FAQ. Here are a few of the verbatim answers to wet your appetite:
Q: Where may I permit beverages and/or food to be consumed?
A: Full-service restaurants, limited-service restaurants, snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars, taverns, and other food services and drinking places licensed to serve food, beverages and liquor for consumption by the relevant local jurisdiction and State Liquor Control Board, if applicable, that can follow all minimum guidelines outlined in this document.
In Phase III, services for Restaurants and Bars should be limited to:
- Outdoor dining and/or drinking only; and
- Parties of 6 persons or fewer.
A dining or drinking area is considered an outdoor dining or drinking area if the area meets any of the following criteria:
- Located on the rooftop of a building or within establishment with retractable roof (should remain open during hours of operation of outdoor dining and/or drinking); or
- Outdoor space connected to or located on the site of a restaurant, grocery store, health or fitness center, hotel, golf club, or other social club with a food establishment license; or
iii. Indoor space where 50% or more of a wall can be removed via the opening of windows, doors, or panels provided that dining tables are within 8-ft from such opening; or
- Any other outdoor dining and drinking areas authorized by local governments provided that food and drinks are prepared by licensed food or liquor establishments and that proper social distancing of 6-ft between designated customer tables and/or other seating areas is observed and parties are of 6 persons or fewer.
This guidance is subject to State and local liquor control, food safety, and other applicable laws and regulations. Businesses may be subject to additional regulations for outdoor dining and/or drinking areas by units of local government and local health departments.
Please visit this link for the “Restore Illinois” Phase 3 “Restaurants and Bars For Outdoor Dining Guidelines” https://dceocovid19resources.com/assets/Restore- Illinois/businessguidelines3/restaurantbars.pdf
See also the “Restaurant and Bars” Toolkit: https://dceocovid19resources.com/assets/Restore- Illinois/businesstoolkits/restaurantbars.pdf
Q: May a Local Liquor Control Commission extend or designate an outdoor dining and/or drinking area to include a contiguous or adjacent public sidewalk, beer garden, patio, public street, private parking lot, or other similar outdoor area not previously licensed?
A: Yes, a Local Liquor Control Commission may extend or designate an outdoor dining and/or drinking area to include a contiguous public sidewalk, beer garden, patio, adjacent public street, private parking lot, or other similar outdoor area not previously licensed or customarily designated for eating and drinking. If the local liquor control commission DOES NOT require additional licensing, there is no requirement for the licensee to file a State Special Use Permit application to extend the licensed address.
Q: In what situation would a licensee be required to file an Illinois Liquor Control Commission Special Use Permit for Phase 3 privileges?
A: If the Local Liquor Control Commission requires additional local licensing or permitting for a previously unlicensed adjacent public street, private parking lot, or similar unlicensed area, the licensee is required to file an Illinois Liquor Control Commission Special Use Permit application.
A: If a Local Liquor Control Commission issues a temporary local license or permit which designates an outdoor dining and/or drinking area to include a non-contiguous and non-adjacent location with a substantially different address (from the currently licensed location), the licensee is required to file an Illinois Liquor Control Commission Special Use Permit application
Q: What is the best way for a local liquor control commission to extend or designate the outdoor dining and/or drinking area?
A: A local liquor control commission may require a local licensee to submit any documentation necessary to extend or designate an outdoor dining and/or drinking area. It is highly recommended that the local liquor control commission:
- Review and affirmatively approve (if decided) all extended or designated outdoor dining and/or drinking areas.
- Require licensees to submit a site plan and floor plan clearly designating the borders of the extended or designated outdoor dining and/or drinking area.
- Require the licensee to post the site plan and floor plan on the extended or designated outdoor dining and/or drinking area.
- Require licensees to erect physical barriers like stanchions or temporary fencing around the perimeter of the extended or designated outdoor dining and/or drinking area.
- Communicate in writing to the licensee that the extended or designated outdoor dining and/or drinking area is temporary and has a specific termination date (e.g. at the conclusion of Phase 3 or Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan).
- Any other necessary requirements, conditions, and restrictions.
Q: I am a tavern and do not hold a license of any kind to serve food. May I offer outdoor drinking?
A: No, unless you are authorized by the Local Liquor Control Commission to sell and serve alcoholic liquor in the following manner:
- On the rooftop of a building or within establishment with retractable roof (should remain open during hours of operation of outdoor dining and/or drinking); OR
- In indoor space where 50% or more of a wall can be removed via the opening of windows, doors, or panels provided that dining tables are within 8-ft from such opening.
Q: Can patrons who purchase pick up meals eat these meals on patios, decks or other area’s on licensee’s property?
A: Yes, if conducted according to the Phase 3 Restore Illinois Plan related to outdoor dining and/or drinking (as cited above).
Q: May a brewer, class 1 brewer, class 2 brewer, class 1 craft distiller, class 2 craft distiller, brew pub or distilling pub conduct curbside delivery, home delivery or other similar means of sale?
A: Under special temporary circumstances related to the COVID-19 outbreak, alcoholic liquor manufacturers, brew pubs and distiller pubs may deliver alcoholic liquor in the original package if the licensee holds a local retail liquor license and if the local liquor control commission authorizes delivery sales. These license holders are not authorized to sell or deliver pre-mixed cocktails normally intended for on-premises consumption (e.g. pre-mix margaritas, sangrias). If the manufacturer does not hold a local retail license, it is not authorized to conduct retail sales of alcoholic liquor in any form.
Q: Can licensed caterers operate?
A: Yes. Per EO 38, caterer services may continue if the catering is not conducted at indoor commercial locations or gatherings of more than 10 people (unless part of the same household or residence).