City Allows Gibsons to Expand Sidewalk Patio

Bellevue Place was narrowed from 36 feet to 30 feet wide between Rush and State streets

After much deliberation, the city has allowed Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse to narrow a Chicago street to make more room for their outdoor patio space and passersby.

Last summer, pedestrians experienced quite a hassle when walking by the 11-foot-wide patio on the north side of Gibsons on Rush Street, which was riddled with tables, chairs, waiters and busboys.

It became so bad that Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) got involved, and Gibsons owner Steve Lombardo proposed widening the sidewalk at his restaurant's expense.

Lombardo wanted to extend the sidewalk into Bellevue Place which meant narrowing the two-way street from 36 feet to 30 feet wide between Rush and State streets.

Gabe Klein, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's transportation commissioner, wrote a letter last June objecting to Reilly's plans, saying the move would create traffic problems. There has since been a change of heart.

After confirming the narrowing of the street would not have a negative effect on capacity, CDOT supported Gibson's sidewalk-expansion proposal on Sept. 28.

Residents complained that no notifications were given, but once all was said and done, Gibsons was given a more spacious outdoor area to serve customers.

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