Chicago bars, restaurants that serve alcohol must close at midnight

Chicago News

CHICAGO — Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has set new limits on bars and restaurants to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Starting Friday, all Chicago bars, restaurants that serve alcohol and breweries will close by midnight.

New restrictions at bars and restaurants already had to stop serving alcohol by 11 p.m. but now they have to close by midnight.

Curbside pickup and delivery can continue later.

Mike Miller is co-owner of Bottom Lounge in the West Loop.

“For us, we’ve been following all the rules and regulations. We’ve been closing at 11 p.m. either way. So we’ve been trying our best to manage the situation,” he said.

Businesses that don’t follow the rules could face up to $10,000 in fines or in the worst cases, immediate closure.

Sam Toia, the head of the Illinois Restaurant Association, calls the changes reasonable.

“Every little bit helps,” he said. “We don’t want to go back into shelter in place.”

Pat Fowler is a co-owner of Candlelite Chicago and Firehouse Grill in Evanston. After reopening and hiring workers back, he had to shut Firehouse down again this week because an employee started experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms and got tested.

“Hopefully it’s negative. But if it’s positive … we’re just going to have to keep shutting and keep shut down until it’s safe,” Fowler said. “And it’s just a roller coaster of emotions for us.”

Since the beginning of June, the city has received more than 1,100 reopening complaints against businesses, 17 received citations and one business was immediately closed. 

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