A suburban restaurant announced it will continue to serve customers indoors, effectively in opposition to the state’s order that restaurants and bars in DuPage, Kane, Will and Kankakee Counties cease indoor dining beginning Friday in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Spiro Roumpas, owner of Ki’s Steak and Seafood in Glendale Heights, said his business is following social distancing and mask guidelines.
“I’m not forcing any employees to be here, this is all by their will. I’m not forcing customers to be here. I totally respect and understand if somebody chooses not to come here,” Roumpas said.
Roumpas posted his announcement to Facebook on Wednesday and said the reaction has been mostly positive.
“They’re going by everybody’s rules and staying apart from everybody and cleaning and disinfecting and I don’t see a problem with it,” customer Ron Tenut said.
Ki’s Steak and Seafood has been in business since 1934.
“We’re here to say we’re open and we believe we live in a free country,” Roumpas said.
But it could be a risky move.
Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker said state police can issue citations to restaurants and bars that defy a state order.
“Also, with the information we get at the state level, we can take away people’s liquor license,” Pritzker said.
Roumpas acknowledges that he is “probably a target at this point.”
“I’m not trying to do this to be a martyr or hero,” Roumpas said. “I’m just trying to do this to put food on my table, to put food on my employees table to and to keep the community going.”