Tavern League Newsroom

The Tavern League is working hard in our local communities across the state of Wisconsin.

ABL Welcomes Passage of COVID-19 Package
January 21, 2021

Targeted relief still needed for bars, taverns...

DOR Liquor Sale
December 21, 2020

Wisconsin Dept. of Revenue Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement Unit is again selling a batch of confiscated liquor.

All In Grant Applications Extended
October 13, 2020

The All in Grant has been extended and applications for it can be submitted beginning October 19th.
The State of Wisconsin has announced that it is extending the “We’re All In” grant program for small businesses, adding another $50 million to the program. Small businesses who apply are eligible for a grant which you do not have to pay back of up to $5,000 to assist them with the costs of business interruption, salaries, rent/mortgage and for health and safety improvements. Businesses must comply with industry-specific COVID-19 safety guidelines that have been created by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Legislative Leaders - Evers Order Not Enforceable
October 8, 2020

The Assembly Speaker and Senate Majority Leader both said that because Governor Evers did not go through the Administrative Rule process required by the State Supreme Court, his order limiting the size of public indoor gatherings is not enforceable.

House Includes Restaurant Act to HEROES Bill
September 30, 2020

House and Senate leaders have not yet reached agreement on the HEROES Act, however, House Democrats have just added the Restaurants Act, a bipartisan bill supported by the hospitality industry, to the HEROES Act to provide $120 billion in grants which do not have to be repaid for bars and restaurants.

Kenosha Tavern League Decries Cabaret License Changes
September 28, 2020

The Kenosha Tavern League opposes the changes proposed to the city's cabaret license requirement.  They made that opposition very clear at their meeting Tuesday at Coins Sports Bar, 1714 52nd St.

Free Masks From LAX County Health Dept. And Tavern League
August 25, 2020

Bar and restaurant owners want you comfortable, happy and safe. When you are out enjoying your favorite local establishment, remember social distancing, hand washing, sanitizer, and ask for free complimentary mask courtesy of La Crosse County Health Department and the La Crosse County Tavern League.

ABI Argues Against Changes to Federal Dietary Guidelines
August 20, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) are in the process of crafting the latest iteration of federal dietary guidelines—which seek to counsel Americans about healthy eating and drinking.

Thank You TLW Members for Supporting Primary Candidates Endorsed by TLW
August 12, 2020

Thank you to TLW members around the state for their help supporting primary candidates endorsed by the Tavern League of Wisconsin.

Dietary Guidelines Action Alert: Make Your Voice Heard
August 6, 2020

Right now, the federal government is currently updating guidance on healthy diets, called the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). For decades, the DGA have provided evidence-based, practical information about diet and health, including the definition of moderate alcohol consumption for adults who choose to drink and advising that some people should not drink at all.

ABL Elects Officers for 2020-2022
August 5, 2020

American Beverage Licensees (ABL) elected officers to two-year terms at the association's 18th Annual Meeting in July. Officers elected were Mat Dinsmore of Wilbur's Total Beverage in Fort Collins, Colorado, Treasurer; Juan Negrin of Super Wine Warehouse in Paterson, New Jersey, Vice President Off-Premise; Jay Gesner of Souse's Lounge in Rockford, Illinois, Vice President On-Premise; and Terry Harvath of Wishing Well Bar & Grill in Appleton, Wisconsin, At-Large Representative.

Dane County Health Skewes Data
July 27, 2020

Dane County weekly positive rate drops from 13.4% to 2.1% when using factual data. Dane County Health Department did not count over 17,000 negative tests when calculating the 13.4% positive rate last week.

All Madison Potbelly Sandwich Shops close except for one
July 16, 2020

Three of the four Madison Potbelly Sandwich Shops have closed: One on State Street, one at West Towne Mall and one on University Avenue.

A woman who answered the phone at the location near East Towne Mall said it's the only local Potbelly to remain open.

Mask Enforcement Becomes a Battleground for Operators
July 16, 2020

Bob Palmgren was working in the kitchen of his barbecue restaurant, RJ's Bob-Be-Que Shack in Mission, Kan., last week when an 18-year-old employee rushed back to alert him of trouble.

A customer in a red Make America Great Again cap was showing off his concealed weapon after being asked to wear a mask inside, saying he was exempt from the order because he was armed.

Restaurants and Bars Add 1.5 Million Jobs in June
July 10, 2020

According to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the leisure and hospitality industry added 2.1 million jobs in June and the unemployment rate dropped seven points to 28.9 percent for that sector. More specifically, restaurants and bars added 1.5 million jobs—which accounts for nearly one-third of job creation across the broader economy.

Business Coalition Letter to Governor Evers
July 8, 2020

Dear Governor Evers and Secretary Palm:

We, the undersigned representatives of thousands of Wisconsin businesses, are aware that the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has received at least one and perhaps more open records requests from media outlets or others to identify businesses that have had employees test positive for COVID-19.

ABL Statement on States Re-closing Bars and Taverns
July 1, 2020

American Beverage Licensees (ABL) Executive Director John Bodnovich issued the following statement regarding states re-closing bars and taverns due to COVID-19:

D&D Amusement of Waupaca Donation C.H.E.E.R.S.
June 30, 2020

The members of the TLW would like to thank D&D Amusement of Waupaca for their generous donation of $1000 to our CHEERS account. 

Beam Suntory Donation
June 24, 2020

The members of the Tavern League of Wisconsin would like to thank Beam Suntory for their donation of $30,000 to our CHEERS account.

Joint Association Letter on Streamlined Forgiveness Process
June 24, 2020

The TLW has joined with other Associations to urge the SBA to simplify the loan forgiveness program for small businesses. We will keep you posted on our progress on this important issue. Please see the letter.

New Marquette Law School Poll
June 24, 2020

After the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the unlawful stay at home order, the public was told that there would be a huge spike in COVID-19 cases. This was almost 6 weeks ago, and not only has the spike not occurred, the state continues to show a downward trend in positive cases.

Resourceful Information
June 24, 2020

Read below for resourceful information regarding the CARES Act.

Judge Halts Racine's COVID-19 Restrictions, Citing Strike Down of State Safer at Home Order
June 22, 2020

Judge Halts Racine's COVID-19 Restrictions, Citing Strike Down of State Safer at Home Order

A Racine County Circuit Court judge on Friday afternoon issued a temporary halt to Racine's COVID-19 restrictions.
That means the city can no longer enforce its restrictions at this time, per the court order.

Reduced General Liability Insurance Premiums for Restaurants & Bars
June 18, 2020

We understand the challenges and hardships that our restaurant and bar customers are facing. That's why we are implementing the following procedures for immediate use by agent request.

ASCAP and BMI Statement
June 18, 2020

BMI is sensitive to the fact that many businesses, large and small, are facing unprecedented challenges. Your partnership and the health of your business are vital to the livelihoods of the music creators we represent, and we are committed to helping you to welcome back your customers when the time is right.
For those of you who use BMI, please click here for a link to fill out a form for those businesses impacted by COVID-19

Invitation to Bid Wisconsin Department of Revenue Sale of Intoxicating Liquor
June 18, 2020

Sale consists of 1741 bottles of Taxed Intoxicating Liquor.  Bids will be accepted from either a wholesale Permittee or persons licensed to sell intoxicating liquor at retail (Class A or B Liquor License).  Product is located in Madison, WI and consists of 1128 total liters of intoxicating liquor.
Please click here to view the pdf for more information. 

What Can You Do to Make Consumers Feel Safer?
June 18, 2020

What Can You Do to Make Consumers Feel Safer?

New Morning Consult polling explores what protocols businesses can implement to make customers feel more comfortable in the pandemic environment. Regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces topped the list with support from 81 percent of recipients. Other popular protocols include installing hand sanitizer dispensers at 77 percent, spacing-out seating at 72 percent, enforcing capacity limits at 70 percent, and requiring all employees to wear face masks at 69 percent. Imposing temperature screenings for consumers received the lowest support at 57 percent.

We're All In Grant
June 11, 2020

We’re All In Small Business Grant Applications Begin Monday June 15th
Governor Evers has established The We’re All In Small Business Grant Program and the WEDC will be taking applications from June 8 am Monday June 15th until 11.59 pm Tuesday June 23rd. The Program will provide $2500 grants to 30,000 Wisconsin small businesses. Please check out the WEDC website to prepare documents you will need to apply for the grant. Please click here to see the eligibility requirements to apply for the $2500 grant. The following is information is from the WEDC website:

Evers Unveils Small Business Grant Program
June 3, 2020

Governor Evers announced today a grant program to assist small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor is planning to use $75 million from the federal CARES Act funding the state received to provide grants to small businesses to assist them with lost revenues, health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, and mortgages. Further details of the grant program will be announced later this month, and businesses can begin applying in June. Grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded to small businesses with 20 or fewer employees.

Court Overturns Stay at Home Order
May 13, 2020

Court Overturns Stay at Home Order

On May 13, 2020, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Wisconsin Legislature v. Palm. In a 4-3 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Emergency Order #28, Safer at Home Order (Order #28) invalid and unenforceable for failure to follow the emergency rule promulgation process under Wisconsin Chapter 227 and for exceeding the Department of Health Services (“DHS”) Secretary’s authority. The Tavern League filed an amicus brief in support of the Legislature in this case.

Beechwood and Anheuser-Busch Donation to C.H.E.E.R.S.
May 6, 2020

On behalf of Beechwood Sales and Service and Anheuser-Busch we have made a $5,000 donation today to the C.H.E.E.R.S. Wisconsin Relief Fund. Our thoughts are with the members of the Tavern League of Wisconsin during this unprecedented time. This pandemic has had an adverse effect on all of our businesses and we hope that this donation and others will help members “bridge the gap” until the day they can reopen their doors. We look forward to once again seeing our friends who work in the taverns and restaurants in Wisconsin.

May Is National Tavern Month
May 6, 2020

May Is National Tavern Month

Fighting to Keep Their Doors Open, Local Bars & Taverns Need Support Now More Than Ever

Source: ABL

May 3, 2020

Each year, American Beverage Licensees (ABL) reminds everyone that "May is Tavern Month" and encourages Americans to celebrate their local bars and taverns by stopping in and supporting these small businesses.

SBA issues PPP guidance on laid-off employees who refuse to be rehired
May 5, 2020

SBA issues PPP guidance on laid-off employees who refuse to be rehired

Paycheck Protection Program recipients calculating loan-forgiveness reductions do not have to factor in laid-off employees who decline a good faith, written offer to be rehired for the same job, pay and hours. Employees who refuse to be rehired might forfeit continued eligibility for unemployment benefits.

Tavern League of Wisconsin Submits Amicus Brief with Wisconsin Supreme Court
April 29, 2020

Today, the Tavern League of Wisconsin submitted an amicus brief with the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the ongoing lawsuit between the Wisconsin Legislature and the Department of Health Services Secretary. Our hope is to be able to open safely and responsibly before the current Order expires on May 26th. Many states have already begun to safely open taverns and restaurants. Our members will have been closed for 70 days through the current Order, some have gone out of business. Many businesses are open and operating safely today. Our Reopen Wisconsin – Safe at Work plan is a responsible plan to protect the public while safely opening our businesses.

Business leaders react to Safer at Home order extension - CBS 58
April 28, 2020

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Safer at Home order extension means bars, restaurants, and many other businesses that are already struggling will be closed for a month longer.

"It certainly has had a major impact," said Nancy Bush, the Executive Director for the Historic Mitchell Street Business Improvement District.

She says about 50 to 60 percent of their businesses are temporarily closed right now. She worries what the extension will mean for them.

"The smaller businesses, the family-owned or one owner type of business, ya know my concern is whether they will be able to return full service or the level of business they had once they are able to reopen," said Bush.

"I think for the most we want to make sure we are doing things that are providing a safe environment for our customers, our employees, and we think we can do that. Other businesses are effectively doing that today and there haven't been any problems," said Scott Stenger, spokesperson for the Tavern League of Wisconsin.

C.H.E.E.R.S. Donation - Society Insurance - Thank You
April 28, 2020

The Tavern League of Wisconsin wants to thank Society Insurance for its’ $10,000 donation to our CHEERS fund. Society has been a longtime Corporate Sponsor at the Silver Level and has supported the TLW members through program discounts and participation at our trade shows. Thank you for your generous donation.

Lawmakers and Tavern League of Wisconsin react to 'Safer at Home' extension
April 28, 2020

RHINELANDER - Gov. Evers recently added an extension to his 'Safer At Home Order' which has some restaurant owners to worry about their futures.

"No we're not gonna make it through and we have lost members, and we need to find a solution to bridge the gap between now and getting back to normal," said Wisconsin Tavern League Spokesperson Scott Stenger.

Restaurants and even bars are restricted to carry-out and delivery, which some say is not enough.

"It's not working, it's not working to-go is essentially a one night proposition, Friday night is the night we get business," said Stenger.

Swearingen, Tavern League: Allow Restaurants To Reopen May 1
April 28, 2020

The Tavern League of Wisconsin wants Gov. Tony Evers to allow bars and restaurants to reopen May 1.

That’s almost a full month before Evers’ new Safer at Home order is set to expire. The order is designed to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

State Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) also owns the Al-Gen Supper Club in Rhinelander.

Taverns push for May 1 reopening
April 28, 2020

The presidents of the tavern leagues of Jefferson and Dodge counties said Monday their organizations are on board with the Tavern League of Wisconsin’s proposal to have bars and restaurants reopening—in limited fashion—by May 1.

The state tavern league is calling on Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers to allow bars and restaurants to resume more regular business on that date. This would be more than three weeks ahead of the end of the current stay-at-home order that has forced the closure of most nonessential businesses.

WMC pitches reopening plan based on infection rate, population, industry and health care capacity
April 28, 2020

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce is proposing a plan to reopen the Wisconsin economy by accounting for conditions in specific counties and a company’s industry.

The “Back to Business” plan unveiled Friday morning would use a company’s county of operation and industry to determine what kind of precautions the company would need to take in its operations.

Capital City Sunday: Reopen Wisconsin, With an Interview From Chris Marsicano
April 27, 2020

MADISON (WKOW) -- The push to reopen the state is gaining momentum as hundreds carry out protests across Wisconsin urging Governor Tony Evers to reconsider extending his safer at home order.

The order is in effect until May 26, but bars and restaurants believe they can open their doors by taking safety measures to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

President of the Tavern League of Wisconsin Chris Marsicano sent a letter to the governor outlining their safety precautions to reopen safely on May 1, claiming it would protect employees and customers.

S&S Distributing CHEERS Donation
April 21, 2020

The Tavern League of Wisconsin and its members would like to thank S&S Distributing out of Sparta for their generous donation of $10,000 to our CHEERS fund. S&S has been a long time partner and supporter of the TLW and this donation will certainly help our efforts to build funding for CHEERS. S&S understands these are difficult times for the On Premise industry and that our success is their success.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development is now taking applications from self-employed people and small businesses.
April 21, 2020

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development is now taking applications from self-employed people and small businesses.

Self-employed people are not usually eligible for unemployment payments, as they do not pay for unemployment insurance for themselves through payroll contributions. In this special circumstance, the federal CARES Act provides for unemployment payments during the Covid crisis.

Unemployment for Self-Employed (Live as of April 21) Click here for a link to DWD

Trump Offers Phased Guidelines to Reopen Bars and Restaurants
April 21, 2020

While the reopening of the on-premise - nay, The Country - is still largely theoretical, at least now we have a faint blueprint.

President Trump used his ongoing evening press conference stage last night to articulate a plan to reopen the country. There are no hard and fast start dates, and directives are to be considered on a local basis, by local authorities (you can see the full slideshow on whitehouse.gov.

New Glarus Brewing CHEERS Donation
April 17, 2020

The Tavern League of Wisconsin would like to recognize NEW GLARUS BREWERY and owner Deb Carey for their generous donation of $10,000 to the TLW’s CHEERS fund. Contributions like this are very important to the growth of this fund that will be shared by TLW members. Thanks again to NEW GLARUS BREWERY!

Money raised through CHEERS will be divided equally among Tavern League members. If you care to learn more or would like to contribute please go to www.tlw.org/cheers

Letter to State Legislature on New Executive Order - Chris Marsicano
April 16, 2020

Dear TLW Member:
Please see the email below that went out to all state legislators this morning.
Dear Legislator:
There has to be a better way to wage the war against Covid 19 than bankrupting my business, destroying my livelihood and having to fire my employees. I will have been closed to regular business for 70 days on May 26th. Not surprisingly, I cannot survive under these conditions – very few of us can.

State Senate Unanimously Approves Covid 19 Bill
April 16, 2020

The State Senate unanimously approved the Covid 19 bill and Governor Evers is expected to sign it today or tomorrow. The bill enables Wisconsin to qualify for additional federal dollars and makes the following changes of interest to the TLW:

Charted: America’s Biggest Brewers by Decade, From 1950 to Now
November 20, 2018

Big beer has an enormous footprint. We charted data from 1950 to the present to determine the largest brewers by decade, using figures from Beer Marketer’s Insights and BeerHistory.com. The results are staggering.

Craft Breweries oppose AB492
November 9, 2018

View the Wisconsin Craft Breweries who "support" TLW opposing AB492 (Cheers Bill).

We put UTAH to the Test
November 9, 2018

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah -- In a conference room at the Unified Police Department, FOX 13 put Utah's new .05 DUI law to the test.

When it goes into effect on New Year's Eve, Utah will have the nation's toughest DUI law, lowering the blood alcohol level from .08 to .05. It's been the subject of protests and pushback across the state, with worries it will harm tourism and jail casual drinkers. But so far, efforts to repeal it or modify it have failed on Utah's Capitol Hill.

AB492 Cheers Bill
October 24, 2018

This bill creates a distillpub permit issued by the Department of Revenue that authorizes the manufacture, rectification, and sale of intoxicating liquor other than wine (distilled spirits). The bill authorizes certain retail interests and activities of distillpubs and, if a person holds both a distillpub permit and brewpub permit, modifies the permissible retail interests for the brewpub.

AB492 TLW Position
October 24, 2018

The WisCraft brewers, state wineries and craft distillers have all indicated their support for the bill which is somewhat perplexing given that Wisconsin taverns are selling their products helping to contribute to their success. Despite our strong relationship with these craft manufacturers they have decided to support a bill which will decimate the very businesses selling their products today.

America’s Beer, Wine & Spirits Retailers Create 2.03 Million Jobs & $122.63 Billion in Direct Economic Impact
October 24, 2018

BETHESDA, MD – OCTOBER 23, 2018 – As the American economy continues to grow, a new economic impact report released today details the significant impact that America’s beer, wine and spirits retailers have on their local, state and national economies through job creation, direct economic impact and the generation of tax revenues.

American Beverage Institute (ABI) as “one of the biggest opponents of .05 legislation”
October 24, 2018

A Utah Jazz fan drinks a beer while watching a game at Legend Sports Grill in Salt Lake City last year. A new Utah law, which goes into effect Dec. 30, lowers the DUI blood alcohol threshold in the state from .08 to .05, a move that has been praised by traffic safety advocates and denounced by the restaurant and hospitality industry.

Wisconsin Brewers Guild Members
October 24, 2018

On behalf of the independent craft breweries of Wisconsin, we'd like to thank the retail partners who join craft breweries to contribute over $2 billion to Wisconsin's economy. Your commitment to quality Wisconsin products is not only vital to our state's economic prosperity, it is essential to our mutual success. We look forward to growing with you, creating more employment opportunities, and keeping our ties to local communities strong.

ABL's Position on Issues, Presentation by John Bodnovich
October 23, 2018

American Beverage Licensees Report

Tavern League of Wisconsin 83rd Annual Fall Convention & Trade Show.

U.S. Traffic Fatalities Fall Following Two Years of Rising Toll
October 9, 2018

Deaths on American roads fell by nearly 2 percent last year, blunting two years of increases that had troubled regulators and safety advocates.

Despite Ridiculous Claims, Senate Tax Bill Won’t Kill Thousands of People
November 28, 2017

While trying to derail tax reform, there’s been no shortage of misleading statements and outright falsehoods. But a recent article in the Washington Post might be the most outrageous story to date. The article, titled “Here’s how many people would die as a result of the Senate’s tax cut on booze,” goes after a provision in the Senate bill that would reform excise taxes for brewers, distillers, and winemakers .

MADD Against WI Bill Lowering Drinking Age
November 9, 2017

Wisconsin lawmakers are circulating a bill that would lower the drinking age in Wisconsin to 19. Mothers Against Drunk Driving quickly responded to the bill with strong opposition."We don't support anything that has any kind of acceptable loss of life, " Doug Scoles, Regional Director for MADD told NBC15 over the phone.

SafeRide Advertising Bill – Contact your Legislators
February 9, 2017

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