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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Cheers to That!

Happy hour bellies back up to Indiana bars

It’s Friday afternoon. You just got off work, so you head to your favorite bar with coworkers to cap off a productive week. To your surprise, the bar is offering 50 percent off drinks from 4-6 p.m. “Wait, I thought this was illegal in Indiana?” you ask.

Is happy hour banned in Indiana?
Not for long! Hoosier happy hour returns beginning July 1, thanks to House Bill 1086 being passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb this spring.

What exactly does that mean?
Bars, restaurants, retailers, and craft manufacturers can offer discounts or run specials during a defined time window, like $2 beers during lunch.

Why was it banned in the first place? Don’t most states allow happy hours? Indiana banned discounted drinking hours in 1985 as a measure to reduce drunk driving. It joins its surrounding neighbors in having some form of happy hour.

What else does the new happy hour law allow?
HB 1086 also allows bars and restaurants to sell carryout alcoholic drinks.

What do Evansville legislators think?
Republican State Rep. Tim O’Brien, who voted in favor of the bill, thinks the change is good for businesses facing increased costs.

“Since the pandemic, many restaurants and bars are still struggling to return to pre-shutdown levels of business. This new law can help area businesses, many of them community staples and mom and pop establishments, by allowing them to responsibly offer drink promotions like their counterparts in Illinois and Kentucky,” O’Brien said in a statement.

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Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti
Maggie Valenti joined Tucker Publishing Group in September 2022 as a staff writer. She graduated from Gettysburg College in 2020 with a bachelors degree in English. A Connecticut native, Maggie has ridden horses for 15 years and has hunt seat competition experience on the East Coast.

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