Chicago restaurants didn’t need a push to prove their creativity, but 2020 shoved them anyway, forcing them to think about ways to survive with indoor dining not providing a reliable revenue option. Several restaurants have crafted new takeout menus and some operators have created new identities for takeout and delivery. These following pandemic pivots show off some of the more daring new options. Many center on comfort food, which — regardless of a pandemic — is always popular in Chicago during colder months.
As of February 16, Chicago restaurants are permitted to serve customers indoors with a 40 percent maximum capacity per room, or 50 people — whichever is fewer. At the same time, despite winter weather, a number of Chicago restaurants continue to offer outdoor seating. Regardless, the state requires reservations for indoor and outdoor dining. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as an endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns. For updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the city of Chicago’s COVID-19 dashboard. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.Read More