Chicago Bars, Breweries Begin Reopening Wednesday

Bars, breweries and other establishments will be allowed to reopen outdoor areas including patios and rooftops

Bars and breweries across Chicago can begin reopening Wednesday, but only for outdoor service, as the city continues to lift restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The news was announced as part of a second wave of reopenings in phase three of the city's plan.

Based on the "continued positive trend" in coronavirus metrics over the past several weeks, the city also announced plans Monday to reopen the Chicago Lakefront Trail — with restrictions — on Monday, June 22.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday announced plans to reopen the city’s lakefront and area bars, but with some changes and new restrictions in place. NBC 5’s Sandra Torres reports.

Starting Wednesday, bars, lounges, taverns, breweries and other similar establishments will be permitted to reopen for outdoor-only service, according to a news release issued by city officials. Additionally, restaurants will be able to open their bars under the same restrictions.

Customers must be seated at tables that are six feet apart, with six people or fewer per table. Individuals will only be allowed to occupy seating for two hours, the news release stated.

While the sale of alcohol for carryout and delivery must stop at 9 p.m. nightly, alcohol sales at bars and restaurants will be permitted until 11 p.m.

Furthermore, bars will be allowed to open outdoor areas, including outdoor patios, rooftops, rooms with retractable roofs and indoor spaces where 50% or more of a wall can be removed provided that dining tables are within eight feet from such openings.

Bars and breweries are also eligible to participate in the city's "Our Streets" program in which streets are closed to allow for outdoor food and beverage service.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot had been hinting at plans to ease further restrictions in phase three for weeks. On Friday, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady noted that an announcement could be coming this week.

Chicago entered phase three of its reopening plan on June 3, allowing several small businesses to reopen with new guidelines and limitations, as well as permitting gatherings of up to 10 people.

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