Friday represents another step toward recovery from the ongoing public health crisis as restaurants and bars in Chicago will be allowed the serve on-premise customers for the first time since mid-March. But this is not a cause of celebration for everyone as there are a lot of mixed feelings about opening with lingering questions about safety. The state’s top physician, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, told the Sun-Times that she won’t be comfortable enough to eat inside a restaurant until September.
Illinois Department of Public Health’s Ezike and other health experts are more comfortable with outdoor dining, which resumed on June 3 in Chicago. There’s also been growing concern among restaurant workers that reopening isn’t safe for employees. On Sunday, the owners of Longman & Eagle — the former Michelin-starred restaurant in Logan Square — announced one of its workers had tested positive for COVID-19. Longman will temporarily close and reopen “when we — all of us — are comfortable doing so.”
Government agencies haven’t provided restaurants with concrete rules when a worker gets sick. Instead, the city has come up with a set of suggestions. For example, restaurants should follow CDC protocols for cleaning if a worker comes down with COVID-19.
Still, many diners are excited to comeback. Health experts also talk about how returning to some type of normalcy has a positive impact on mental health. For many, restaurants play a huge role in that. Over the weekend, diners in Lakeview crowded Broadway Street for the second iteration of “Dining Out” which closed streets for dining tables. Customers loved it so much that rains didn’t scare them.
Eater Chicago wants to hear from restaurant owners who have made decision to open on Friday or have decided to wait a bit longer. Take this short survey to give Chicago a better sense of how confident business owners are in reopening. Feel free to make additional comments.
*Please click the survey link if you’re unable to view the form on this page. This survey will close at midnight on Thursday, June 25.