Chicago opens as indoor food downtown, suburban cook company moves to Tier 1

CHICAGO (WLS) – From Chicago to Suburban Cook County, many people are celebrating milestones at unusual times as “a step toward normal”.

State health officials announced Saturday that Chicago and Cook County had been moved to Tier 1 mitigation, making it clear for restaurants and bars to resume all indoor food.

WATCH: Gov. Pritzker gives the latest on vaccines, restrictions, new variants on January 22, 2021

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement on Saturday, “We have long pushed to reintroduce limited indoor dining, and I am thrilled that we have reopened our businesses and brought back workers to COVID Has made substantial progress in the fight against -19. ” “As we enter this next phase, I again call on all businesses and residents to ensure that we continue to follow the guidelines for safe indoor food and are committed to safety precautions Help us level the curve for the second time. “

Rick Bayless, Chicago Chef and Restaurant stated that the reopening would be a breath of much-needed life for a well-organized industry.

“I’ll tell you that there were a lot of people here on our staff who were really in tears when our first customers came back,” said Bayless, who is the owner and chef at Frontera Grill.

Their staff monitors regional COVID-19 positivity rates in anticipation of customers moving indoors.

“When rumors started swirling around our staff that this was going to happen, there was a nail in everyone’s eyes that was able to know that we were going to be able to do what we once again. Let’s do the best and this is an exciting thing for us in the hospitality profession, “said Casey Cora, Frontera Grill spokesman.

“We got busy today. Thank God it’s open,” said Pinton Wilbourne, owner of Truth Italian Restaurant in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood.

Back in suburban Cook County, business owners rejoiced as they welcomed customers from the city and suburban Cook County to take them back home and move them officially to Tier 1.

“As soon as I saw that email, it was a gust of fresh air,” said Chris Manolis, owner of Blueberry Hill Breakfast Cafe.

Although, Peytyn Willborn is still completely optimistic, anything could change with this epidemic.

“We’re crossing our fingers. We don’t want to get too excited because she can shut us back in a month or two and we’re back from where we started,” said Willibo, Truth Italian owns restaurant in the city’s South Side.

Both Chicago and Cook County restaurants and bars are now able to reopen for limited indoor dining as COVID-19 test positivity rates in Regions 10 and 11 are running down.

Director of Illinois Public Health Drs. “So we will be able to know tomorrow if they really meet their criteria and it looks like they will get there. So this announcement will be made tomorrow,” said Nozi Ezik.

Under the Tier 1 restriction, bars and restaurants can open for indoor dining at a capacity of 25% or a maximum of 25 people per room. Food must be available at all times, but may be provided by outside vendors without a food license. To actively eat or drink and to close establishments, tables must be six feet apart, face covering is required and must be closed by 11 o’clock at night

Lakeview resident Ellen Karol said, “I think we should open everything up as soon as possible because it’s safe to do that and that’s why I’m happy that we’re on that path.”

The city will respond to complaints of egoistic violations, but bars and restaurants anticipate very good compliance.

“And I think that’s why you’re seeing progress in numbers go down, because for the most part, people really want to do their best to protect not only their customers, but their families and their employees. Trying, ”said Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection Commissioner Rosa Escarno.

Lori Lightfoot released a statement on Friday saying: “I am thrilled that Chicago has made substantial progress in the ongoing fight against the deadly COVID-19 virus to allow indoor service in bars and restaurants in the very near future. This epidemic is devastating for businesses and their workers Especially for bars and islands. Restaurants, and I know that this step will bring great relief at critical times. Our businesses have taken repeated steps to save lives from this crisis and I am thrilled That we will soon be ready to reopen this move to more businesses and get employees back to work. As we prepare to ease the restrictions, I call on all our businesses and residents to What works to fight the spread of COVID-19 once again. Only by wearing masks, maintaining social distance, avoiding big. Meetings, following business rules and getting the vaccine when it is available , Will we be able to continue moving forward in our plantation plan? “

See also | Chicago COVID-19: City moves to Phase 1B next week, says Arvadi

Tier 1 mitigation measures currently allow the following:

Restaurant & Bar

Can reopen indoors at 25% or 25 people per location
Food must be available at all times to provide indoor service. This means that a bar, inn or brewery without a food license can be reopened indoors until they partner with a food establishment so that food is available to patrons at all times (Eg, providing menus and allowing delivery, allowing patrons to order from third-party delivery services).
Table size is not limited to more than four people in the indoor table and six people in the outdoor table
Face covering should be worn at all times, except when the patron is sitting and is actively eating or drinking.
Let them sit whenever they are eating or drinking alcohol
Pools must be six feet apart
Indoor service is not limited to more than two hours
All bars and restaurants must close at 11 pm

Meetings, social events and gatherings

Programs will be limited to at least 25 guests, both indoors or outdoors, or 25% of the total room capacity
Indoor events will be able to serve food or drinks, but indoor service guidelines must be followed:
o Face covering should be worn at all times, except when the patron is sitting and is actively eating or drinking
o Four people per indoor table
The patrons should be seated whenever they are eating or drinking
O Tables must be six feet apart
o Indoor events should end at 11 pm
Domestic meetings are not limited to more than ten people

Other industries

Most other industries are limited to 40% capacity with a maximum of 50 people within a room or space
Indoor fitness classes can be reduced to 15 people or expand to 40% capacity
Face coverings worn all the time, with the exception of limited examples such as personal services that require removal

Gail Landers, founder and chief executive officer of Fitness Formula Club, said, “We are adding classes rapidly to accommodate demand only, but it is an exciting time.

WATCH: Will, indoor dining returns in Kankakee counties

State health officials announced that Illinois Region 7 – Kankakee and Will County – moved into Tier 1 mitigation on Thursday, allowing indoor restaurant and bar food service up to 25 people, or 25% capacity per room, whichever is fewer. .

Some restaurants, including George’s, in Lockport are serving customers, while it was officially banned by the state. But the team there is still excited by the news and hopes it will make more customers feel secure enough to take a bite. Manager Lauren Straub said she was motivated to learn that limited indoor dining could resume in Will and Kankakee counties.

“People are about to feel relaxed and, you know, want to come in and they feel safe enough to come and dine with us,” Straw said.

Near Romeoville, Jio’s breakfast was mostly empty even after the indoor dining reboot was announced. But manager Giselle Evangelista is thinking that her dining room will be an attractive option for people, so that they can maintain their social distance.

“It’s really huge,” Avengelista said. “I think people are going to see it on our Facebook page.”

With more person-meals, she is hoping that her staff will see more tips – which are not plentiful with lay-out orders.

“Since our servers rely on tips, it will help us a lot because it’s basically what we stay away from,” she said.

Look: Why some restaurants won’t reopen even if restrictions are loosened

Even when restrictions in the city are lifted, some restaurants will not reopen for now.

“25% (capacity) makes us lose money, 50% (capacity) makes us lose money,” said Jodi Faf, owner of Eden in the West Loop.

But city officials for Chicago’s restaurants, who want to reopen indoor dining, say this weekend may be possible as soon as possible if current trends catch on.

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One comment

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