Bars in Chicago can reopen for outdoor service starting Wednesday

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CHICAGO — Bars in Chicago can reopen for outdoor service Wednesday after being closed for months during the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office announced Monday.

Two weeks after restaurants were allowed to reopen for outdoor service during Phase 3 of Chicago’s reopening plan, bars, lounges, taverns, breweries and other places that serve liquor without a food license will also be allowed to serve patrons in the outdoors.

Lightfoot previously said bars were being treated differently than restaurants out of concerns their customers would ignore or forget about social distancing restrictions after they’ve been drinking.

They can reopen their patios, rooftops and other outdoor areas as of June 17, with restrictions including:

  • Customers must be seated at tables that are 6 feet apart, with six people or fewer per table.
  • Seating is limited to a maximum of two hours.
  • Alcohol sales for on-site consumption must end at 11 p.m. each night.
  • The sale of alcohol for carryout or delivery must end at 9 p.m. each night.

Bars may also apply for a special permit allowing them to expand their seating onto private property or shared streets, depending on availability.

Bars and other establishments with liquor licenses have been allowed to sell alcohol for pickup and delivery as part of a statewide order, but weren’t allowed to serve patrons until this week.

The City also announced Monday the Lakefront Trail will reopen on June 22.

Read the full news release from the mayor’s office here:

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