Coronavirus Pandemic

Chicago Expands Outdoor Dining for Liquor-Only Businesses

NBCUniversal, Inc.

The city of Chicago is offering relief for some bars struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic by expanding outdoor dining for liquor-only businesses.

City officials announced changes to the outdoor dining program Friday, allowing businesses that serve alcohol without a Retail Food License to expand into the sidewalk. The option had only previously been available to restaurants through a sidewalk cafe, according to a news release.

The sidewalk space utilized by bars and taverns must be set up with six feet of pedestrian clearance remaining, and service areas must be enclosed by a barrier. Liquor establishment also must partner with a food establishment, to ensure food is available for patrons.

"In times live these, city government must be nimble and flexible and give businesses the opportunity to stay afloat," said BACP Commissioner Rosa Escareno. "This program has kept hundreds of bars and restaurants going through unprecedented challenges and we will continue to do what we can to make it easier for all businesses that need our support."

More than 250 establishments have taken part in the city's outdoor dining program.

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