City offers bartender training courses

By Erin Kolb

ROCKFORD – New laws by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) are requiring all vendors of alcohol in Winnebago County to undergo a training course designed to deter sales of alcohol to minors and underage drinking.

The Beverage Alcohol Sellers and Services Education and Training (BASSET) is a four-hour course that trains vendors to be responsible and safe selling alcohol.

Any establishment that sells or serves alcohol is a vendor and must complete the $25 course by July 1, 2016.

“In order to combat underage drinking, we have to have educated vendors,” said Christopher Greenwood, Community Health Coordinator for Rockford Human Services.

“Every bartender has to have this training now,” said Vintage @ 501 owner Matt Idzikowski, “so it’s good to see the city offering this sort of class.”

Greenwood said the training has been offered in Rockford before, but now is mandatory for all Winnebago County alcohol vendors.

The session teaches subjects like how to read ID’s correctly in order to prevent vendors from selling to or serving minors.

Idzikowski says the in-person training is a good option for bartenders and waitstaff who have trouble with the online learning environment these classes as usually presented in.

“Some people do better in person rather than online,” he said.

“You can mark it on your calendar, go get it taken care. You can’t get out of it, and some people just need that reinforcement to get it done.”

Two training sessions are scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6-10 p.m. on Thursday, February 4 at 555 N. Court Street in Rockford. Preregistration is required.

To register, contact Delicia Harris at 779-348-7573 or, or Daniel Gonzalez at 779-348-7568 or

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