City allows bars to sell packaged beer and wine during COVID-19 shutdown

Staff Report

ROCKFORD – Mayor Tom McNamara, in his role as City of Rockford liquor commissioner, is temporarily allowing all bars and restaurants to sell packaged beer and wine during the COVID-19 shutdown.

Beer and wine will be available curbside, by carryout and delivery, including by third-party delivery services.

“Since the beginning of this crisis, we have been working to provide relief to restaurants and bars, which are taking a tremendous hit on their revenue with the current restrictions,” McNamara said. “Our Legal Department consulted with other local municipalities and worked with Sen. Stadelman to urge the State Liquor Commission to give us clear guidance so our businesses would be on firm ground to expand their sales. I’m pleased we were able to make this happen so fast. We need relief for Main Street and not just Wall Street.”

The mayor’s order is effective today and is subject to the following conditions.

  • License holders are not authorized to sell or deliver pre-mixed cocktails normally intended for on-premises consumption (e.g. pre-mix margaritas, sangrias).
  • License holders shall not conduct any sales or deliver any type of alcohol they are not normally authorized to sell.
  • Beer and wine only. License holders cannot sell hard liquor.
  • Products must sealed in original containers.
  • License holders must ensure that no sales are made to individuals under the age of 21.
  • The temporary authorization will terminate once the current COVID-19 health emergency has been lifted.

All liquor license renewal applications and fees are extended 90 days to July 31.