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Restaurants and bars get set for cocktail to-go law

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(WSIL) -- On Tuesday, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill into law allowing for curbside pickup and delivery of cocktail drinks.

It comes more than a week after lawmakers pushed the bill to governor's desk while simultaneously passing a state budget.

Tres Hombres in Carbondale has been offering the same services for the past three weeks. General manager Taylor Vaughn says it's because the restaurant has a package liquor license.

"We had to purchase [shot-sized liquor bottles] first from our distributors, and then we were able to make our mix on the side and then sell it like a kit," Vaughn said.

Vaughn says the restaurant is now looking to get tamper-proof containers and seals to replace the styrofoam cups they've been using to follow state law.

"We're hoping to get things in line... by the end of the week but definitely by the first of next week for sure," Vaughn said.

Daniel Tondini, owner of Pookie's Beer, Burgers & Bocce in Marion, likes the idea but still wants to investigate the law further. While the law gives businesses a revenue boost, he wants to make sure he's not breaking any rules.

"The sooner the better… I want to know what's legal before I do anything. I don't want to go out here and do anything that would backfire on me," Tondini said.

Tondini compared the service to people buying alcohol at a liquor store, and Vaughn says customers are expected to follow the same principle: to not drink and drive.

"I think the same concept and rule applies, and it really shouldn't be big deal," Vaughn said. "We're trusting these customers and these individuals to be responsible adults like they are, so to me, I think it's great."

The new law will be in effect until next year.

Danny Valle

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