Al fresco dining is back: Where to go

Al fresco dining is back: Where to go

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker gave the green light to al fresco dining to return in Illinois as part of the Phase 3 reopening May 29..

That means in Illinois if restaurants have outdoor space they can serve guests (following COVID-19 guidelines) starting today.

Cause for celebration?


But not so fast.

A big chuck of the restaurants–that would be Chicago–according to Mayor Lori Lightfoot–are not quite ready for prime time. It looks like the city must wait until June 3.

So be it.

Chicagoans may have to wait a little longer for the likes of ABA, Raised, Piccolo Sogno and others like SMC’s picks for 2019 to open their doors–but there is a whole new world out there.

Here’s a sampling of some of the restaurants outside the city that will be opening their outdoor spaces this weekend–or in the near future.

In Oakbrook

Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille
5 Oakbrook Center
Oak Brook, IL
Telephone: 630-571-1808
Opens May 29


Perry’s Steakhouse & Grill is known for their USDA Prime beef,  signature selections, flaming desserts and handcrafted cocktails.  They will be open for al fresco dining starting today.

Hours Patio Only Service: Saturday – Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m. and Fridays 11 a.m. to 9 p.m

Seating: Limited, Reservations recommended

About Safety:. Perry’s will observe the top industry standards related to cleanliness and sanitation practices and all employees will wear masks and gloves during service with strict hygiene requirements. Seating will be limited with socially distanced tables complemented by safety measures including (but are not limited to) disposable paper menus, disposable salt/pepper and condiment packets, and chairs and booths disinfected after each usage. Perry’s signature tableside carving will be orchestrated from a safe distance.

Menu: Perry’s will be serving their Famous Pork Chop with whipped potatoes and homemade applesauce for $16 for Friday Lunch, Fridays, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Their Sunday Supper Special will be served Sundays, 4 – 9 p.m. It includes a choice of soup or salad, Perry’s Famous seven-finger-high pork chop and your choice of dessert for $39.

The Clubhouse
298 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, IL 
Opens May 29the-clubhouse-oak-brook-outdoor-patio-one-side-photo-credit-the-clubhouse

Al fresco dining (as well as Curbside pickup and  delivery) will be available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.  

About safety: The Clubhouse has implemented several new health and sanitation practices for its al fresco dining. These include but are not limited to: Conducting health screenings and temperature checks for all employees before they enter the restaurant; Maintaining six feet of social distance between tables on its patio; Providing scannable QR codes for al fresco dining guests to access the restaurant’s menu via their phones; Requiring the use of face masks by all employees;Providing guests single-use condiments upon request.

Reservations: Patrons are encouraged to call the restaurant at 630-472-0600 to place their curbside pickup order

In Winnetkageorgetroisgrill

George Trois Group
64 Green Bay Rd, Winnetka
The Patio at Aboyer
847- 441-3100
Opens Friday, June 5 

The Patio at Aboyer is lined with 8 ft tall trees. It features 20 seats that will be spaed 6 ft. apart, Five, 36 in sq tables with umbrellas. Seating will be limited to ables of up to 6 people.

Hours:  Friday, Saturday and Sunday to start with expanding hours in time. Carry out and delivery will continue.

About safety: All staff wearing masks. Guests must wear masks when entering and leaving. Must wear masks when entering building to use restrooms. The restaurant will have stands with liquid hand sanitizer at entrances to restaurant, patio and restrooms. Only four people will be permitted into the restaurant at one time.

Menu: A new grill menu with Michael Lachowicz and Charlett Perez cooking outside on patio.

In Kildeer


Fresh Stack Burger Co,
20413 N Rand Rd.
Kildeer Village Square
Opens 11am, May 29

Fresh Stack Burger is a polished fast casual restaurant and bar that prides itself on serving quality burgers.

The “better burger” concept developed by Sean Thomas, Grandson of Wendy’s Founder Dave Thomas, Fabio Viviani Hospitality Group.

In Evanstonevamstpmbarnpatio

The Barn Steakhouse
1016 Church St Rear, Evanston, IL
847 868 8041
Opens May 29
The Barn Steakhouse features seating outside in The Garden (covered by an awning & has heaters!). Full menu available.

Reservations: Taken on the half hour starting at 5pm. Wednesday-Saturday.

Sarkis Cafe
2632 Gross Point Road, Evanston
Opens May 29
Their outdoor seating area is open for dine in for breakfast, lunch and dinner on the patio and with additional tables set up in the grassy field adjacent to the restaurant. 
About safety: All tables will be adequately spaced from each other, we will be cleaning tables after every use, only utilizing disposable silverware and condiments, and more.

In Northbrook

Prairie Grass Cafe
601 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook
Opening soon

Prairie Grass Cafe co-owner/co-chef Sarah Stegner photo: Grant Kessler

Prairie Grass Cafe co-owner/co-chef Sarah Stegner photo: Grant Kessler

The patio: The new outdoor space at Prairie Grass Cafe will be located under a tent with 8 tables, creating a comfortable atmosphere with respect to social distancing. 

Safety: Prairie Grass Cafe will adhere to all required social distancing precautions and then some!

Hours: To start, Prairie Grass Cafe will be open for outdoor dining by reservation only, 4 pm until closing on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Menu: Prairie Grass Cafe will offer a menu focused primarily on grilling and seasonal side dishes. Desserts will be offered as well.

In Arlington Heights

While some individual Arlington Heights restaurants are expected to open for outdoor dining on today, a larger village-led downtown initiative, called Arlington Alfresco, that would shut down the main downtown thoroughfares Vail Avenue and Campbell Street for socially distanced dining is expected to begin some time next week.


Communities from Lake Bluff to Aurora are hustling to put plans together for Phase 3 dining. Many will be closing streets and opening up additional space for outdoor dining. Many spots are opening today, others soon. Most will be requiring reservations,

Show Me Chicago will continue to follow the openings here and on Chicago Eats and A Bite of Chicago.

Subscribe to Show Me Chicago by email

If you would like to keep in touch with what’s happening in Chicago, like us on Facebook or subscribe to Show Me Chicago by email. To subscribe, type your email address in the box below and click the “create subscription” button. Our list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Filed under: Al Fresco Dining

Leave a comment

  • Advertisement:
  • Advertisement:
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Meet The Blogger

    Carole Kuhrt Brewer

    Arts, entertainment and dining journalist..

  • Follow me on Twitter.

  • Recent posts

  • Categories

  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement: