CHAMPAIGN--After 25 years of happy hour prohibition, hourly drink specials are back on the menu in Illinois.
"We're thrilled about the new happy hour law," said Chris Knight, owner of the The Blind Pig Co. and The Blind Pig Brewery in Champaign. "And I think it will only help the bar business."
Bars and restaurants across the state can now offer drink deals for up to four hours a day.
Governor Bruce Rauner reversed a ban on happy hour specials Wednesday, signing a bill supporters say will increase tax revenue for state and local governments as more drinks are poured and sold.
Those behind the bar think it will help brew more business too.
"We hope that it will bring increased traffic to the bar," said Knight. "It gives us some new marketing opportunities. And from my point of view, it just allows us to serve some of our high end beers to a bigger audience."
The new law does have limits: the deals cannot be offered for more than 15 hours each week, they must be cut-off by 10 PM, and two-for-one specials are off the table. All safeguards to respect the reason the happy hour ban was put in place to begin with.
"We always hope that if somebody's out drinking they are responsible with a designated driver, call for a cab," said Lt. Brian Mennenga of the Champaign County Sheriff's Office. "We want to obviously reduce our impaired drivers as much as we can. Just to make sure the motoring public is safe."
A reminder to drink responsibly now that its time for happy hour.