How often do you leave a sit-down restaurant with a to-go box or "doggy bag?" That phrase is interesting in that I've never given my restaurant leftovers to a pooch. As I prepped for this article I wondered how the term "doggy bag" started. It turns out it became a thing in the 1940s, according to the Smithsonian.

With the United States engaged in World War II, food shortages were a fact of daily life on the home front—and for the sake of economy, pet owners were encouraged to feed table scraps to their pets.

Eventually, because families were struggling financially, people began asking for doggy bags to take home leftovers for themselves.

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Aside from leaving the joint with food in hand, what about your drink? How many times have you found yourself slamming the remainder of your beverage before leaving the restaurant? It's not even necessarily booze, pop, chocolate milk, water, orange juice, or whatever.

It always plays about the same way; you pay the bill, leave the lip, and then - bam - instant thirst. You slam the rest of your drink either before gathering your personal items or the moment you're about to leave the table. Depending on the establishment there may be a way to take non-alcoholic drinks with you but what about adult beverages?


I'm not promoting drinking and driving by asking this question. Think of it like this, you order a big ole juicy steak with some sides and you don't eat all of it. What do you do? You take whatever is left home with you. Are you opening that container the moment you get into your vehicle and start chowing down? Probably not, right?

Maybe the alcoholic drink you bought was too big or pricey and you don't want to waste it. Don't act as if you've never wished you could take it home to finish on your couch. In a roundabout way, "to-go" alcoholic drinks are allowed in Illinois but there's a catch. The drink can not be in something like a fast food cup.

The mixed drink/cocktail or single serving of wine shall not be transferred to the consumer: a. By way of drive-through service; or b. Home delivery by a third-party delivery company. Delivery by third party delivery companies pursuant to 235 ILCS 5/6-28.8 is not permitted.

The mixed drink/cocktail or single serving of wine container (originally filled by a retailer) must be in a new/unused and rigid, glass, metal, or ceramic material. The container can not include plastic, paper, or styrofoam. It also has to be sealed with a secure cap or lid that is tamper-proof or tamper-evident. It can not have straw holes.

So, while these alcoholic drinks can be purchased from a retailer (like a restaurant) it's not the same as rolling through a drive-thru and ordering a drink. You can read all the specifcations here.

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If you are anywhere between the Illinois/Wisconsin border and into the deep suburbs of Chicago, this list is for you.

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