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Bars, Restaurants Selling Alcohol Have To Close At Midnight, City Says

The city said the new rule is effective immediately and is meant to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Patrons gather in Old Crow Smokehouse on Clark Street in the Wrigleyville neighborhood on June 27, 2020 during the first weekend of Illinois in Phase Four of reopening amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Bars, restaurants and other places that serve alcohol are now required to close at midnight.

The new rule — quietly announced by the city in a Friday morning press release — is effective immediately. It applies to any establishment that serves alcohol for on-premises consumption.

Bars, restaurants, breweries and other spots are already prohibited from selling alcohol for on-site drinking after 11 p.m. under coronavirus restrictions. But prior to the change, they’d been allowed to stay open after stopping liquor sales.

The change is meant to prevent the spread of coronavirus, according to the city.

“… This directive will minimize the spread of COVID-19 by preventing late-night congregating that could occur after the cutoff of alcohol sales,” according to the city’s press release.

Bars and restaurants can still offer curbside pickup or delivery or food after midnight, but customers cannot be allowed to enter the business, according to the city.

Restaurants that don’t have a liquor license can stay open after midnight.

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