CHICAGO — Amid a surge in cases in both Chicago and suburban Cook County, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced new mitigation measures Tuesday, including the closure of indoor dining in the regions.
Many local restaurant owners who were already struggling with the pandemic and closure of indoor dining earlier in the year believe the new restrictions may cost them their business.
“We were just getting some footing and we lost all of our private events. This is devastating to an industry that is on pins and needles just trying to survive,” Carnivale General Manager Ozzie Godoy said.
Beginning on Friday, his restaurant will no longer have indoor dining, leaving options of eating outside or ordering dinner for pickup.
Godoy said his restaurant will make the transition, but fears it could mean the end for many other restaurants.
“For curbside and delivery we’ll do that immediately, but for a lot of our restaurants in Chicago, this may be a death knell,” Godoy said.
The Illinois Restaurant Association penned a letter to the Governor, asking for the rules to be changed.
A portion of their statement reads:
“Illinois restaurants will not survive another complete shutdown of indoor service. The Illinois Restaurant Association is calling on Governor Pritzker and state leaders to immediately modify Illinois’ mitigation plan to allow for limited dine-in operations at restaurants statewide.”
As for Godoy, his business and ultimately the industry, will adjust once again.
“We’ve adapted each time the changes are taking place, but ultimately this is just another thing for us to adapt to,” Godoy said.