After threatening to enact new rules to curb impromptu gatherings in front of liquor stores earlier this week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot is taking action. During a press conference this afternoon, Lightfoot announced a citywide curfew on liquor sales in Chicago, banning booze sales after 9pm. The curfew will begin on Thursday, April 8 and will be enforced for as long as the Illinois "stay-at-home" order in in effect (it currently runs through April 30).
Under the curfew, Chicago liquor stores are required to close by 9pm each night. Grocery and convenience stores that sell beer, wine and liquor won't need to shut their doors early, but they won't be able to sell alcoholic beverages after 9pm. Police and city inspectors will enforce the curfew throughout the city, and Lightfoot noted that businesses that violate the order will be fined and could be stripped of their liquor license.
Lightfoot has been swift to take actions that discourage gatherings and enforce social distancing in Chicago, beginning with her closure of the city's lakefront, the 606 trail and the Chicago Riverwalk nearly two weeks ago. During today's press conference, Lightfoot announced that eight non-essential businesses in the city have collectively been fined $120,000 for violating the "stay-at-home" order and that enforcement will continue in the coming weeks. As the weather begins to warm up, Lightfoot also hasn't ruled out the closure of Chicago's public parks to discourage gatherings—over the past weekend, there was an elevated police presence in Humboldt Park, Jackson Park and other popular public green spaces.
If you need to buy booze while the "stay-at-home" order is in effect, you should plan on making your purchases before 9pm while practicing social distance or taking advantage of alcohol delivery services and Chicago breweries that will bring beverages directly to your doorstep.
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