CHICAGO — The Chicago City Council is expected to vote Wednesday on a plan to make outdoor dining permanent across the city.

During the COVID pandemic, many businesses needed patios to stay afloat and continue serving customers. Those temporary rules could now become part of the city’s municipal code.

“It will attract visitors and it’s something we need,” 50th Ward Alderperson Debra Silverstein said.

President and CEO of the Illinois Restaurant Association, Sam Toia, said if passed, this would be quite a win for bars and restaurants.

“Restaurants have been going through a rough time over the last few years cause of the pandemic inflation and the sidewalk ordinance. Today will help restaurants move forward in the summer months.” Toia said. “Citizens and tourists love eating outdoors we are the best summer city in America and this outdoor ordinance makes us an even better summer city.”

If approved by the city council on Wednesday, the new plan would allow aldermen to approve or deny expanded permits within their ward based on certain requirements.

“They’re all applications they need to reviewed by BACP, CDOT and discussed with the alderman,” Alderperson Silverstein said.

Businesses could submit applications to set up tables in curb lanes, on sidewalks or lane closures could even be allowed if at least three businesses on the same block request it.

“Businesses have been wanting this for a while happy to support them in our city its gonna bring more businesses to our wonderful city I’m very excited about it,” Silverstein said.

Bars would be allowed to participate in this if they already serve food or team up with a restaurant. If approved, bars and restaurants can start to apply.

The full Chicago City Council will vote on Wednesday.