Chicago restaurants can reopen for outdoor dining on June 3

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Chicago restaurants can reopen for outdoor dining on Wednesday, June 3, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced at a press conference Thursday. This will come four days after restaurants in other parts of the state resume serving customers as they enter phase three of Restore Illinois. The city revealed its reopening guidelines for restaurants earlier this week.

In moving remarks that addressed a violent Memorial Day weekend in Chicago and the police-linked death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Lightfoot revealed the city is finally ready to reopen businesses like hotels and land. golf course (not by the lake)

“We will also see the partial reopening of restaurants and cafes with a focus on outdoor space,” Lightfoot said.

The mayor praised residents from “all walks of life” for staying home and reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus. But she also warned that she wouldn’t hesitate to downgrade Chicago to phase two of the COVID-19 stimulus package if the city sees a regression in public health.

“So folks, let’s just be smart: let’s take the advice. Let’s follow social distancing by wearing a face covering in public,” Lightfoot said. “All the things you’ve done because you know it saves lives and reduces the spread of the virus.”

Some restaurateurs are eager to get back to business and make some money. Those owners mentioned Indiana and Wisconsin allowing restaurants to open earlier in May. These neighboring states failed to move Lightfoot. She pointed to the spikes in COVID-19.

“We’ve seen that in other neighboring states,” Lightfoot said. “All we have to do is look North, South, East and West for examples.”

The mayor took several questions about the restaurant. Here is an overview of the highlights related to the restaurant:

  • Lightfoot said the city will wait for the June 17 city council meeting to legalize take-out cocktails. Springfield approved the measure over the weekend, and the bill awaits Governor JB Pritzker’s approval. He said he would sign it when the bill arrived at this office. The mayor did not respond to a question about when bars will reopen.
  • Restaurants will require a permit for outdoor dining. Lightfoot said the city encourages restaurants to work with its neighborhood restaurant associations to obtain permits. In addition, restaurants grouped together could apply for permits together on the same block. The mayor also mentioned an “accelerated” permit that could be obtained from the Department of Special Events.
  • Many restaurants and bars on the south and west sides don’t have outdoor seating, so moving to phase three won’t have much impact. Lightfoot acknowledged that many didn’t have those resources and that they “needed to have that element of restoration in there.” She said she spoke to Pritzker about ways to help. Lightfoot worries about small, cash-constrained neighborhood restaurants.
  • The Department for Transport is working on plans to close streets to allow for additional outdoor seating. He reviews traffic patterns and discusses with aldermen and other stakeholders. The city has begun to reconfigure the roadways. Open roads would allow social distance paths for cyclists and pedestrians, as Streetsblog Chicago reports.
  • Deputy Mayor Samir Mayekar singled out Uncle Remus Fried Chicken for creating a website to order food to keep his restaurant open during the pandemic, Koval Distillery for using his facilities to make hand sanitizer and Tock for being gone from taking reservations to giving restaurants a platform for take-out and delivery orders. These are “real models of innovation despite this crisis”.
  • City guidelines include requiring restaurant workers to wear face coverings and installing barriers in cases where customers and employees cannot follow the six-foot rule. To help, the city launched the Chicago PPE Market so restaurant owners and other businesses can purchase affordable supplies like hand sanitizer, masks and barriers. The supplies are made by local Chicago manufacturers, Lightfoot said. This is a collaboration with Rheaply.
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