CHICAGO (AP) — Restaurants and some bars in Chicago and suburban Cook County opened their doors to customers Saturday for the first time since late October after gaining approval from state health officials. Illinois.
Restaurants and bars that serve food can seat diners indoors at 25% capacity or 25 people per room, whichever is lower, after the city and county moved to Tier I of the state coronavirus mitigation plan.
Bars that do not serve food can only reopen if they partner with a restaurant to deliver meals.
“I am thrilled that we have made enough progress in the fight against COVID-19 to reopen our businesses and bring workers back,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement.
Massimo Di Vuolo, owner of Italian restaurant Due Lire in the city’s Lincoln Square neighborhood, told the Chicago Tribune that he misses the camaraderie of serving and chatting with diners.
“It’s being together and being with the customers, face to face and being able to talk to them. … That’s the part that makes business exciting and makes business life romantic,” Di Vuolo said.
According to the guidelines, tables will be limited to a maximum of four people indoors or six people outdoors, and tables should be 6 feet apart. Domestic service will be limited to a maximum of two hours; and bars and restaurants must close at 11 p.m.