Restaurants have reopened their patios citywide.
Despite some doubts, Mayor Lori Lightfoot decided to move ahead in the city’s transition into Phase 3 of its reopening plan yesterday. This new phase allowed barbershops, hotels, salons, and tattoo parlors to reopen their businesses. Additionally, to the delight of the city, restaurants were also allowed to reopen for patio dining.
The state’s stay-at-home order first went into effect on March 21, when restaurants were forced to shutter for dine-in eating. Since then, they’ve had to rely on deliveries and curbside pickup options to keep their businesses afloat. Two-and-a-half months later, restaurants have finally been permitted to reopen their doors for outdoor eating.
Chicago is beginning to emerge from lockdown with restaurants opening up to outdoor dining. I visited the neighborhood Starbucks this am to see their upgrades, aka plexiglass and tape. Note: when spelling words use a single-color tape. #foodservice #mobile pic.twitter.com/kQKeseXIow
— Michelle Evans (@mevans14) June 3, 2020
To ensure safety and hygienic processes were upheld, the city published a guidebook last week, demonstrating how restaurants and patrons were expected conduct themselves in Phase 3.
The City’s guidebook focused on six key differences in the new way of dining in the form of:
- Contactless pickup and payment
- Open outdoor dining
- Visual keys posted throughout businesses reminding patrons on keeping the environment safe and clean
- Requirement of masks for employees and customers (when not seated)
- Highly encouraged social distancing of at least 6 feet
- Frequent disinfectant application of employees
When discussing the possibility of reopening restaurants on June 3, in the wake of the protests, the mayor said that she consulted with restaurant owners if they wanted to move forward. Their answer, she said, was a unanimous “yes”.
Although some restaurants remained closed in the wake of the protests, many reopened, and saw an influx of Chicagoans eager to take advantage of the reopening as well as the good weather.
As previously announced, the city opened up a number of streets to help patrons and business owners social distance effectively. Those include:
- 75th Street in Chatham, Calumet Avenue to Indiana Avenue
- Broadway in Lakeview, Belmont Avenue to Diversey Parkway
- 26th Street in Little Village, Central Park to Harding Avenue
- Taylor Street near West Side, Loomis Street to Ashland Avenue
- Rush Street in Rush and Division, Oak Street to Cedar Street
- Randolph Street in West Loop, Expressway to Elizabeth Street
[Featured image: @MeenaBhatiya via Twitter]