After months of being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chicago's breweries and bars are ready to re-open with outdoor service.

Of course, the owners of those establishments would probably tell you that they've been ready to go for a while. They've been waiting for Chicago authorities, in particular Mayor Lori Lightfoot, to finally give them the green light after trailing the rest of the state in reopenings. Chicago's restaurants were allowed to reopen in a limited capacity two weeks ago.

Starting today (6/17/20), bars, lounges, taverns, breweries and other places that serve liquor without a food license will also be allowed to serve their customers outdoors.

They can reopen their patios, rooftops and other outdoor areas beginning today, with restrictions including:

  • Customers must be seated at tables that are 6 feet apart, with six people or fewer per table.
  • Seating is limited to a maximum of two hours.
  • Alcohol sales for on-site consumption must end at 11 p.m. each night.
  • The sale of alcohol for carryout or delivery must end at 9 p.m. each night.

Bars may also apply for a special permit allowing them to expand their seating onto private property or shared streets, depending on availability.

Lightfoot previously said bars were being treated differently than restaurants out of concerns their customers would ignore or forget about social distancing restrictions after they’ve been drinking.


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