Happy Hour Specials Coming Back To Chicago (Maybe)


Anyone knows when you walk into a bar in Chicago you have to ask for the daily specials. Due to a law passed in 1989, the happy hour specials were prohibited. If a bar offered a special between certain hours, they had to offer it all day.

The Illinois State Senate on Sunday approved a bill that once again legalizes these drink specials with the hope of giving bar owners a boost to business. The Illinois House passed the bill last week, Crain’s reported. Now all it needs is Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signature.

The Culinary and Hospitality Modernization Act (SB398) lifts that restriction, allowing bars to post specials for a maximum of four hours a day or 15 hours per week. The specials can’t be created on a whim; they must be posted seven days prior. Specials also can’t happen after 10 p.m.

In exchange for bringing back the happy hour, the bill’s supporters, which include the state’s restaurants, hotels, retail merchants, liquor and beer distributors, and so on, agreed to mandatory alcohol training for all who pour and serve alcoholic drinks. The program is called Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Servers Education and Training.

wednesday beer night slim

The goal of this is to increase revenue in bars which will create more taxes, but just how much will a happy hour special draw in a crowd? Could we see a dollar beer night on a special board anytime soon? We think happy hours specials when done right can be a great addition to increase revenue but have to be done right. Only time will tell.


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