By | Rachel Brooks
Staff | Telegraph Local
Some ladies enjoy their lunch, despite hard times in Chicago, as seen on WGNTV broadcast.
Chicago restaurants are now open for patio dining. The Chicago Tribune reported that Chicago restaurants opened their patio dining availability as of Wednesday. This was reported on June 3 at 5:38pm. Chicago Tribune reports that Chicago waited for more than a week after Governor Pritzker reopened restaurant patio dining for the rest of Illinois.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot made an announcement on Tuesday morning that Chicago would proceed with loosening restrictions despite the civil unrest in the city. Lightfoot chooses to stay the course despite continued coronavirus resurgence concerns. This is also citing the Chicago Tribune.
Eater Chicago corroborated The Chicago Tribune report that Chicago restaurants would reopen on Wednesday for patio service. Eater Chicago reports that the city will move forward with closing street space to have room for tables and chairs.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot made comments on Tuesday that directly highlighted the Wednesday reopening plans.
“We will reopen tomorrow and take this important next step as planned,” said Lightfoot in her Tuesday morning press event, as quoted by Eater Chicago.
Eater Chicago likewise reported that Lightfoot was moving forward despite strong warnings from City of Chicago’s COVID-19 consulting physician Dr. Allison Awardy. Dr. Awardy is concerned that, due to the influx of protestors mobile on the streets, COVID-19 will relapse. Awardy is concerned that this should have delayed the restaurant reopening phase. Despite her concerns, the plan proceeds.
“I am concerned that [after] this weekend, not just related to the protests but related to a lot of people gathering in Chicago for a lot of reasons, we may see ourselves take a step backwards down the line here in Chicago. And that’s because COVID-19 is caused by a virus, and that virus does not care what else is going on in the city. Nothing has changed, unfortunately, related to COVID-19. We still do not have a treatment. We still do not have a cure. We do not have a vaccine,” said Dr. Awardy on Monday, as she was quoted by Eater Chicago.
There are other reasons for concern for the restaurant reopening phases that have little to do with COVID-19. Private Twitter users have recirculated footage showing vandals from the riots that broke out of the George Floyd protests vandalizing restaurants. At least one restaurant was assailed by a rioter who left up and down on this location’s glass ceiling.
However, there is one positive in the midst of the negativity. Peaceful protestors have rallied to show the restaurants that are owned by the African American community some attention. The Chicago Tribune reports that these establishments are getting increased attention as people look for new ways to support their communities in the wake of civil rights unrest. Community organizers have put together a database to pull up all African-American owned restaurants.
Despite all of that, Chicago is set to move forward with the “Make Way for Diners,” program. The plan is designed so that streets will make extra space to accommodate the new patio dining arrangement. Further citing Eater Chicago, the city will shut down streets in Chatham, Lakeview, Little Italy, Little Village, West Loop and Rush Street.