As the end of 2020 draws near and Chicago’s coronavirus vaccine rollout commences, some hospitality operators and residents continue to violate regulations designed to stem the virus’s spread — and are subsequently facing the consequences, with the city’s Department of Business and Consumer Protection (BCAP) issuing citations to 10 bars and restaurants this month.
Cited spots include prominent establishments like Labriola, a well-regarded Italian restaurant on the Mag Mile, and new American restaurant Wood in Boystown. Chicagoans also are continuing to throw and attend illegal pandemic parties: officials this month shut down a 50-person event without masks or social distancing (or, for that matter, smoke alarms) at World Wide Blend, 2427 W. Hubbard Street, according to the Tribune.
Other parties included a group of 66 holding an event with a $100 cover, alcohol, and a DJ on the fourth floor of 409 W. Huron Street; 83 people were also found at a party in a residential apartment at 107 W. Hubbard Street, where the lease holder was also charging an entrance fee, the Trib reported. Party hosts were cited by BACP for breaking pandemic rules, along with other violations like unlicensed activity and hazardous conditions.
Chicago bars and restaurants cited this month for pandemic rule violations include:
- Cafe Touche, 6731 N. Northwest Highway
- Edison Park Inn, 6715 N. Olmsted Avenue
- Barraco’s Pizza, 2105 W. 95th Street
- The Clark Street Bar, 3040 N. Clark Street
- Duffy’s Tavern and Grille, 420 W. Diversey Parkway
- Wood, 3335 N. Halsted Street
- Firewater Saloon, 6689 N. Oliphant Avenue
- Ted’s Place, 5813 W. Madison Street
- New China Buffet, 3246 W. Addison Avenue
- Labriola Chicago, 535 N. Michigan Avenue
It’s been a busy month for BCAP, which started the month with two much-discussed citations for Ald. (44th Ward) Tom Tunney’s restaurant Ann Sather in Lakeview after customers were photographed dining indoors. A former chair of the Illinois Restaurant Association, Tunney faces a maximum fine of $10,500. Notorious dive bar Richard’s in River West took a more aggressive approach, announcing its intention to defy city and state restrictions on indoor service in a since-removed notice on its door.
In other news...
— Crown Liquors Taproom, a well-known packaged goods store in Avondale that closed in April, could reopen under new ownership next year, according to Block Club Chicago. Building owner Don Glisovich reportedly hopes to reopen the bar, but former owner Georg Simos and business partner Alex Tsolakides are not involved. Simos also owns Dante’s Tavern, which recently relocated to the former High Dive bar space in West Town. It’s not a permanent change — he aims to reopen High Dive in April or May.
— Denver-based dining-and-games chain Punch Bowl Social has declared bankruptcy, according to Restaurant Business Online, pointing to the coronavirus and $20 million owed to its lender as the reasons behind the filing. Proceedings have taken a strange turn, however, as the company’s former executives and lender CrowdOut engage in a “tug-of-war” over financial issues that pre-date the COVID-19 pandemic. The fate of the chain’s Fulton Market outpost, which closed in October, remains as yet unknown.
— Italian restaurant Caro Mio, a Ravenswood mainstay, will reopen in January in the space formerly occupied by Taco in a Bag at 4603 N. Lincoln Avenue, ownership announced in a Facebook post.