ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – Rockford City Council members discussed adding a new liquor license to the city’s liquor code on Tuesday night.
Aldermen went back and forth on the idea, called a “Sip and Shop Liquor License,” and ultimately passed it through committee. City officials said it is supposed to provide more of an experience while inside businesses for customers.
“It’s an attempt to be friendly to our businesses, help them, certainly in difficult times right now, we’d like to do everything we can within reason,” said Nicholas Meyer, the Legal Director for the City of Rockford.
Meyer said that the license limits the amount of alcohol, and the time, that business owners could sell it.
“This is something that’s come through an alderman, and through a local business owner, and we’re trying to accommodate that as much as we can. We understood that at a staff level, there was going to be a number of concerns that maybe we haven’t thought of,” Meyer said. “It would be two, essentially two drinks of anything. Two glasses of wine, I think those are defined by 5 ounces each, 1.5 ounces of hard alcohol, or 12 ounces of beer. It’s really meant to compliment businesses, to help them make it more of an experience for the people who are coming to shop at their location.”
The item passed in committee, and is now heading to the full city council, but not all aldermen are happy about it.
“The Sip and Shop is a sad idea to me. Our community is suffering already from drugs, alcohol, opioids, traffic accidents most recently, violence all over the place, and alcohol is a major contributor of all of that,” said 7th Ward Ald. Janessa Wilkins. “What type of doors are we opening, and what type of message are we sending to the individuals that are wanting to come to this community? I will always vote no for this S&S license if it does go through.”
“What we’ll probably do is work with the aldermen to make sure we can work out those kinks as much as possible before it comes back to council with full approval,” Meyer added.
If the license passes through the full city council, Rockford would be the only city in the region with this type of license.