Illinois Governor Finally Signs Bill That Allows The Return Of Happy Hour, Chicagoans Rejoice

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Illinois Governor Signs Bill That Allows The Return Of Happy Hour, Chicagoans Rejoice

If you live in Chicago, you can finally celebrate the end of a workday like any good American should — with some happy hour drink specials.

Illinois governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill on Wednesday that allows the return of happy hour throughout the state. This is big news for Chicago residents, who have been yearning for the day when alcohol discounts could coincide with the end of business hours since the late 1980s.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Happy hour drink specials had been banned under Illinois law since 1989 but can immediately begin with Rauner’s signature of the measure. Advocates of the law celebrated the victory as a measure that would help level the playing field for Illinois and increase tourism to Chicago. Opponents, however, continued to express worries that the return of happy hour would mean excessive drinking and drunken driving.

The bill, SB 398, was passed in the House May 28 and the Senate May 31. Discounts now will be allowed for up to four hours a day and up to 15 hours a week, as long as they are advertised a week in advance and aren’t offered after 10 p.m. Volume specials, like two drinks for the price of one, remain prohibited.

It’s kind of absurd that bars in Illinois weren’t allowed to celebrate happy hour because of safety concerns when so many other major states already allow it without significant problems. Especially in a metropolis like Chicago, where people are looking for reasons to drink all the damn time.

I was in Chicago two weeks ago and was able to experience the bar scene in Wrigleyville (which, surprisingly, has a very popular gay bar population). It is truly a marvel. Chicagoans, and yuppie transplants identifying as Chicagoans to fit in, sure know how to have a good time. Day-drinking on North Avenue Beach and then straight-lining to Clark St after the sun goes down is a practice I could see myself doing every single day in the summer. Who needs to drunk drive when the endearingly gross “L” train can get you everywhere you need to go?

Your wait is finally over, Illinois. Let the $5, 5 o’clock pitchers flow like never before.

[via Chicago Tribune]

Image via Shutterstock

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