Suburban Restaurants Prep for Severe Weather from Tropical Depression Cristobal

Suburban restaurants that reopened outdoor patios prepared for gusty winds and heavy rain on Tuesday

The sunshine and warming temperatures have made things a bit easier during such a rough time for restaurants, but rain and wind from Tropical Depression Cristobal could pose significant issues for those businesses.

Outdoor patios both permanent and temporary are allowing diners to socially distance and enjoy a meal during the coronavirus pandemic.

Jim & Pete’s in Elmwood Park benefited from the owner’s decision to build a new addition.

"About a year and a half we created this space," said owner, Michael Bucchianeri. "Some people thought we were crazy, but in hindsight it actually ended up working out for us.”

Having a stable structure came in handy on Tuesday ahead of the storms due to the remnants of the tropical depression.

Bucchianeri utilized the retractable roof and automatic windows on the outdoor patio at the Italian restaurant.

Umbrellas down 'Restaurant Row' in Elmwood Park would eventually be taken down ahead of the gusty winds.

Over in River Grove, another restaurant saw the impact of the gusty winds.

Police had to call the village to see if someone could bring sandbags to weigh down the other tent to keep that from going airborne.

Despite the incoming weather, some were still planning to visit the patios tonight.

“I just took a reservation for 8 p.m. for tonight knowing that the weather is going to be bad," added Bucchianeri. "They wanted to come here because they’ll have cover.”

Restaurants have had to weather a storm of sorts before. Now, it’s of a literal nature, something you can’t control.

"Mother Nature," Bucchianeri stated simply.

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