Liquor rules relaxed during lockdown
Last updated 3/25/2020 at 4:18pm | View PDF
Interested in ordering a bottle of wine or six-pack of beer with your carryout order from a Hinsdale restaurant?
You can, thanks to action Village President Tom Cauley took last week.
The sale of beer and wine in original sealed containers will be allowed until April 17 or the expiration of Gov. JB Pritzker’s ban of on-site dining, whichever is sooner. The sale must be in conjunction with a food purchase.
The move was prompted by a call that assistant village manager Brad Bloom received from a Hinsdale restaurant manager asking if the village might make the accommodation, Cauley said. He then consulted Police Chief Brian King, who said he didn’t think there would be any problems.
“I could quickly see this could be an opportunity for them to recoup what they will no doubt lose as a result of not having people sit down in their restaurants,” Cauley said. “I’m the liquor commissioner, so I’ve got that ability, so I just did it.”
Cauley sent a letter March 18 to restaurants in town that hold a Class B1 or B2 liquor license, informing them of the change.
Patricia Vlahos, who with her brother, Sam, owns Fuller House in Hinsdale, Pierce Tavern in Downers Grove and other restaurants, said they are grateful for the move.
“Obviously any opportunity for extra sales during this hard time for any business of this sort is greatly appreciated,” Vlahos said.
Patrons who order takeout from Fuller House can also purchase a bottle of reserve whiskey, wine or other spirits. The eatery’s ongoing special offering 50 percent of bottles of wine on Wednesdays is still in effect, she said.
Vlahos said she appreciates people’s patience with wait times, as the kitchen is not built to prepare fast food.
“Lunch is not crazy busy but our dinners, starting at 4:30 p.m., it’s really exciting to see all the phone calls and all the Door Dash and all the delivery platforms,” she said. “We are pumping the food out to make sure the wait times are not astronomical.”
She also is grateful for the community’s support, which is enabling the restaurants to keep their doors open.
“Yes, our sales have decreased, but the amount of takeout has been substantial,” Vlahos said. “We’re very fortunate to have our businesses in such a great community that supports their local businesses. There are a lot of businesses in towns that are not so supportive.”
Cauley said he feels for the servers and bartenders who rely on tips and hopes the town’s dining establishments can weather the storm.
“I want to see everybody come out the other side of this with an existing and healthy business,” he said.