Moline may allow 18-year-olds to serve and sell alcohol

MOLINE, Illinois -- Moline leaders are looking to change a city rule that keeps anyone under 21 from serving alcohol at restaurants or scanning it at the grocery store.

Aldermen have proposed changing city ordinance to match state law, which allows employees 18 and up to serve or sell alcohol.

Many restaurant managers in Moline are supportive of the change, saying it would allow them to open up more job opportunities to young adults.

"I like it a lot. They serve alcohol on the Iowa side, so consequently, I lose good staff and applicants that come in here and apply for a job, because they can't serve at 18. So, they go across the bridge, and they can work at those restaurants," said Jack Viviani, managing director at Johnny's Italian Steakhouse.

Viviani says he would love to keep good hosts and hostesses, many of whom tend to head across the river for work when they turn 18 years old.

"A lot of people start, because it's a great high school job, making extra money. But when they realize they can make more money wait-staffing, I lose them to that," said Viviani.

At Barrel House in Moline, managers only hire front-of-house staff who are 21 and up, while the Davenport location employs servers who are younger.

"We have to turn people away, I'm sure, just because they're not 21 yet. It would definitely expand our prospective employees," said bartender Nathan Hart.

The age change is expected to appear on the next city council agenda for discussion.