Rockford bars say ‘Shot and a Beer’ program costly

Rockford bars say ‘Shot and a Beer’ program costly


Alyssa Morris, server and bartender at Octane RKFD, prepares an espresso martini at the bar on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, in Rockford. A new state law lets bars and restaurants offer a free drink to people who get their COVID-19 vaccine, but not many local businesses are participating.

ROCKFORD — Several local bars are opting out of Gov. JB Pritzker’s new “Shot and a Beer” vaccine promotion, saying they’re not in the position to be giving away free drinks after the year they just experienced

The law allows bars and restaurants to give away a free alcoholic drink to anyone who got the COVID-19 vaccine through July 20. The goal is to provide an incentive for people to get vaccinated and to return to their favorite watering holes.

But some bar owners say customers already are coming back without the free drinks, and since “Shot and a Beer” is unfunded, it would be too costly to participate.

“I think it’s a fantastic idea,” Vintage @501 owner Matt Idzikowski said. “The more people who get vaccinated, the quicker we can get over this hurdle. But it can be difficult for some bars, after taking a bath for 18 months, to give away free product, especially when they are expected to do it out of free goodwill.”

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