It only took until tax day, but the temperatures have finally reached spring-like levels in Chicago. The forecast over the weekend looks like bars and restaurants will finally be making use of sidewalk seating and roofs, all those romantic outdoor spaces that Chicagoans appreciate for the all-too-brief al fresco dining season.
It's been a couple weeks since the folks at Happy Camper put together their wooden benches on Wells Street. It's going to be quite the contrast in crowds compared to the refined ambience across the street at The Glunz Tavern when they eventually put out their seating.
Over in River North, Rick Bayless and Co. are prepared over at Frontera Grill. Bill Shores, who maintains the restaurant's rooftop garden, has tended to the patio with exotic plants to evoke a Mexican fiesta.
Nearby, the Fremont is getting major use of its new retractable roof in the former American Junkie space.
Down Chicago Avenue, restaurants are frantically prepping for crowds. Over at Roots Handmade Pizza, a worker was sweeping the area around the patio. Further west at Whisk, staff hoped their patio would be ready by Saturday.
It's no surprise that over on the South Side that Plymouth Restaurant & Rooftop is ready to rock. They're ready for the Blackhawks' Stanley Cup playoff games.
But Wicker Park is ready for the king of patios at Big Star. They're encouraging groups to make reservations to skip the line.
Skip the line this spring! Contract your next gathering of 15+ in our semi-private space firstname.lastname@example.org pic.twitter.com/eMDZmNO66D— Big Star Chicago (@BigStarChicago) April 14, 2016