Watch CBS News

Rhode Island Considers Bringing Back 'Happy Hour' Drink Specials

PROVIDENCE, R.I (CBS) -- Is Rhode Island ready to raise a glass to Happy Hour?

The Providence Journal reports that there's a new push in the state to significantly revise the ban on discounted after-work drinks. Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Vermont are among only a handful of states that prohibit Happy Hour.

"This act would allow happy hour drink specials served in conjunction with meals prepared on the premises sufficient to constitute breakfast, lunch or dinner, excluding snacks," states the bill that was set for a legislative committee hearing on Tuesday.

That means drink deals could be offered alongside meals - but not only with snacks like popcorn, pretzels or chips.

"It sort of forces you to eat something," Democratic Rep. Karen Alzate, of Pawtucket, told the newspaper. She hopes her bill would be a boost to restaurants that struggle to get people in the door before dinner time.

There was similar talk of reviving Happy Hour in Massachusetts last summer. A MassINC poll showed that 70% of people in the state want to see "discounted after-work drinks" at bars and restaurants.

But Gov. Charlie Baker indicated that he wasn't eager to do away with the ban, enacted after car crashes involving drivers who had been overserved during drink promotions.

"I remember what was going on the roads in Massachusetts when we had Happy Hours, and it was, there were some horrible, awful, horrible, terrible experiences on a very regular basis that came with Happy Hours back in the day," Baker said last year. "I know that probably makes me a stick in the mud to say such a thing, but I would start as a skeptic of going back to the way we ran Happy Hours."

A petition to reverse the Happy Hour ban in Massachusetts failed to gather enough signatures to make the 2022 ballot, the State House News Service reported in December.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.