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Tavern League wants bars to hold events without liquor licenses after Evers’ wedding barn decision

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MADISON — Wisconsin’s powerful tavern lobby wants bars to hold events without liquor licenses after Gov. Tony Evers said wedding barns don’t need licenses.

The Tavern League of Wisconsin told members Tuesday, March 12 to set up rooms or space in vacant buildings for private events. Groups holding the events could buy alcohol from the bar, which wouldn’t have to follow regulations governing licensed establishments.

The league wants wedding barns to obtain licenses like taverns. Former Attorney General Brad Schimel said in November private events in public spaces need liquor licenses. Conservative law firm Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty has sued to ensure wedding barns are exempted.

Evers announced Friday, March 8 regulators will continue to interpret state law as not mandating licenses for wedding barns.

WILL President Rick Esenberg says Evers’ announcement changes nothing for taverns.

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