5 Chicago restaurants and bars temporarily closed for weekend coronavirus violations – NBC Chicago

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Five restaurants in Chicago have been temporarily closed for violating the city’s phase four guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

The department said it “conducted research into advertised parties” and used a task force with the Buildings Department, Chicago Fire Department and Chicago police officers to investigate.

According to the BACP, the task force conducted 38 investigations over the weekend, including eight in residential locations while five others led to the temporary closure of five restaurants in the city.

Barba Yianni in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood was shut down and received two citations for operating at overcapacity indoors, with more than 80 people reported operating after midnight, social distancing violations and a lack of covers -face, said BACP. The citations could result in fines of up to $20,000, but the exact amount will be determined when the case goes to trial at the Department of Administrative Hearings, according to Isaac Reichman of the BACP.

Restaurant owner Anas Ihmoud said he was unsure whether he would be able to pay the fines, noting he was behind on other payments due to the pandemic. He also said his staff wore masks but declined to comment on the crowds on Saturday.

Retro Cafe in the 3200 block of North Central Avenue was cited for opening after midnight, social distancing violations and a lack of face coverings.

Cafe owner Matthew Gancarz argued that he and some tenants who live above the restaurant were outside having a drink due to a power outage in the building, but said that the restaurant was closed at the time of the quotes.

“I’m very pissed off,” Gancarz told NBC 5.

Similarly, Juanita’s Restaurant on the southwest side was also cited for the same violations.

The Estrella Blanca nightclub in the Kelvin Park neighborhood has been cited for allowing people to drink alcohol inside without a food license and face coverings.

Second Time Around, located in the 8300 block of West Irving Park, was cited to operate after midnight.

The restaurants could not immediately be reached for comment, but BACP reports the closures lasted overnight.

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