Business News

St. Patrick’s Day Best Practices for Liquor Licensees

Posted on March 10, 2021

As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) and the Local Liquor Control Commission want to stress the importance of following the State and City COVID-19 guidelines during St. Patrick’s Day festivities. It is imperative that Lincoln Park businesses with liquor licenses have sufficient staff who are knowledgeable about the current COVID-19 regulations to address patrons in your establishments.

St. Patrick’s Day Best Practices Briefing
In order to ensure that all regulations are followed during St. Patricks’ Day and the surrounding weekends, BACP will be holding a briefing for all liquor licensees. Please make sure a representative from your business attends.

Thursday, March 11
3:00 p.m.
Online Event – Register Here


  • Indoor capacity at bars, restaurants: limited to the lesser of 50% or 50 people per room or floor with tables spaced so that patrons are 6 ft. apart, with no more than 6 people per table.
  • Outdoor capacity on licensed patios, sidewalk cafes or expanded outdoor dining areas: tables must be spaced so that patrons are 6 ft. apart with no more than 6 people per table.
  • Use a counter system to keep track of the number of patrons in each room or space. Any establishment found to be operating in excess of the occupancy limits will be closed and cited and will face license discipline.


  • Reduced COVID hours remain in place for all liquor licensees. On-site consumption of alcohol must end at 1:00am and you must close your establishment by 1:00a.m.
  • Package Goods licensees can sell alcohol until 11:00 p.m.


  • Everyone in your premises must wear a mask at all times. The only exception to this rule is if the patron is seated and actively eating or drinking.


  • Your patrons must remain seated while eating and drinking at your establishment.
  • Tables should be spaced 6 feet apart, at a minimum. Maximum party size and table occupancy limits remain at 6 people.
  • Dancing or other congregating is not allowed while COVID restrictions are in place.


  • Use of a reservation system is strongly encouraged to avoid lines or the congregation of people outside your establishment.
  • Lines outside your establishment are strongly discouraged. However, if you do have a line outside, you are responsible for the activity of the individuals waiting in line.
  • Your staff is responsible for ensuring that individuals in the line are maintaining proper social distancing of at least 6 feet and wearing a mask.


  • Events are allowed at the lesser of 50% capacity or 50 people. All indoor dining/drinking regulations must be followed during events, including the requirement that customers remain seated when eating or drinking at tables of six people or fewer.
  • You cannot sell tickets to a St. Patrick’s Day event if you do not have a PPA license.
  • Bar crawls are discouraged. Patrons that are participating in bar crawls must adhere to all capacity limits and other COVID-19 regulations at bars and restaurants. Furthermore, no alcohol is permitted on the public way without the proper license or permit, and bar crawl organizers and must take steps to prevent congregating outside of establishments.


  • No outdoor service or consumption of alcohol is allowed unless your establishment has a current Outdoor Patio liquor license, Sidewalk Café permit or Expanded Outdoor Dining Permit. Licensees must ensure that no open alcohol is removed from the licensed premises or licensed outdoor patio area to the public way, any parking lot, other property or business.
  • Cocktails-to-go must be in tamper evident, sealed containers with no straw or drinking holes. Cocktails-to-go cannot be consumed on the public way.


  • It is imperative that you provide sufficient and knowledgeable staff and security for your business premises to ensure compliance with all regulations and laws. This includes a staff member who can immediately access video camera systems for CPD in the event of an emergency.
  • All security should wear attire that clearly identifies them as “security.”


  • The Chicago Police Department specifically requests cooperation from all liquor licensees during the holiday weekend to utilize plastic cups for alcohol in lieu of glass bottles or cans.


  • Liquor licensees are expected to strictly monitor the area in and around the licensed premises and are required to report all illegal activity by calling 911. You have a duty to cooperate with police.


  • It is a violation sell alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. Staff should be trained to properly check photo identification.
  • It is also a violation of state law to serve alcohol to an intoxicated person.


  • Package Goods liquor licensees must monitor patrons to make sure that no packaged goods liquor is being opened and consumed outside and adjacent to their premises.
  • Any patrons observed in possession of open alcohol on the public way will be arrested and any patron observed leaving a liquor establishment with open alcohol in his or her possession will result in the establishment being cited.

Please advise all your employees that City and State COVID-19 regulations and liquor laws will be strictly enforced, and the City will inspect liquor establishments for compliance during the holiday weekend.

Screenshot 2024-05-15 091646

Stay in touch

Trying to keep up with everything that's happening in your Lincoln Park neighborhood? Subscribe today for email updates based on your interests.