Restaurants, bars and breweries will be able to serve patrons indoors with limited capacity and safety restrictions starting Friday, June 26
Illinois has been enjoying alfresco dining since May 23 with Chicago jumping on the alfresco bandwagon on June 3. It has been, both literally and figuratively, a breath of fresh air.
Heading into July followed by the “dog” days of August Chicago can get pretty hot–not to mention the humidity and rain.
So this first step in allowing restaurants to offer restricted indoor dining is cause for celebration for patrons as well as the restaurants.
Here’s what you need to know:
The announcement: Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Business Affairs and Consumer Protections (BACP) Commissioner Rosa Escareno today announced that indoor dining and drinking can begin at restaurants, bars, breweries and other eating and drinking establishments on Friday, June 26 to align with the State’s plan to move to phase four on the same day.
Limited capacity: These businesses will be able to open indoor service under limited capacity that allows indoor service at 25% capacity with a maximum capacity of 50 people per room or floor.
Social distancing: Safety restrictions must be in place so that patrons can be seated at tables that are six feet apart with ten people or fewer per table.
Drinking establishments: Seating at drinking establishments without a Retail Food Establishment License will be limited to a maximum of two hours per party.
Hours: Alcohol sales at bars and restaurants for on-site consumption must still end at 11:00 p.m. each night, while the sale of alcohol for carryout or delivery must cease at 9:00 p.m. each night.
Phase 4: “This next step in our reopening plan will provide the opportunity for thousands of businesses to expand and reopen, but they must do so cautiously and responsibly,” said Rosa Escareno, BACP Commissioner. “We want to give restaurants and bars ample time to prepare for indoor service so they can take this next step carefully and safely. We have made significant progress over the last few weeks and it is critical that our reopening efforts don’t come at the expense of the health of our community.”
Increased capacity: Dr. Arwady said that if the city continues to see progress in the data – including further declines in cases, deaths and hospitalizations – capacity at restaurants could be expanded to 50%. To make that move the city would need to reach an average of fewer than 100 new cases a day, which would move Chicago into the moderate-risk category rather than the higher-risk category it is in now, using CDC metrics based on population size.
More: The updated industry-specific guidelines for food service and bars is available here.
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Filed under: Chicago Restaurants.