Excitement grows among Chicago’s restaurant scene on path to full reopening

Chicago News

CHICAGO – Chicago’s reopening efforts are expected to greatly impact bars, restaurants, hotels, and businesses long past struggling during the pandemic.

Some within the city’s hospitality industry tell WGN they feel if all goes according to plan, bustling hotels, brimming restaurants, memories and images of the past will once again be within Chicago’s collective reach.

Dan Conroe, a marketing manager with Chicago’s City Winery, revealed he is rich with optimism. He told WGN that he plans to get back to full staff. That’s good news for service industry employees, who are now once again in high demand.

“We are a working winery and a concert venue of live performances. We have a restaurant and outdoor patio. It’s going to be incredible,” Conroe said. “We are looking forward to bringing back staff that were furloughed during the pandemic and some new talent as well.”

On Tuesday, Governor JB Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot delivered news that The Auto Show is returning in the summer. Moreover, the city could be fully reopened by July 4.

“I’ve said this over and over again: the summer of 2021 will look a lot like the summer of 2019 than 2020,” Lightfoot said. “We feel confident based upon what we’re seeing in the data based upon what our modeling is.”

Lightfoot’s declaration will help boost the city’s restaurant scene, says Roger Romanelli, with the Fulton Market Association and the Chicago Restaurants Coalition.

“Every Chicagoan should be happy,” he said. “Every Chicagoan should continue to be cautious and be safe. But this is the day that Chicagoans have worked hard and earned this announcement today.”

Romanelli says his team at the Chicago Restaurant Coalition will be working hand in glove with McCormick Place and area hotels.

“If the restaurants are open and safe, the tourists will find them and have always found them,” Romanelli said. “That’s why Chicago is the food capital of America.”

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