In a place literally divided by COVID-19 restrictions, residents say indoor dining never really went away

Coronavirus

MONTGOMERY, Ill. — One west suburban village is in a particularly weird spot when it comes to coronavirus mitigation measures.

Part of Montgomery lies in Kendall County and the rest is in Kane County. That’s normally not a big deal, but when it comes to the virus, those county lines mean the village is divided between two different regions of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan. 

So while Illinois is now allowing indoor dining at 25% capacity for restaurants in the North-Central Region, that includes only the Kendall side. Kane is part of Region 8, where no indoor service is currently allowed. 

In areas where indoor dining is allowed, reservations are restricted to a couple of hours, groups are limited to four people and it’s recommended your fellow diners all be members of your household. 

While indoor dining was technically banned before the state allowed its return over the weekend, some residents say it never really went away in the area.

Dane Passo and his family have been making some of Oswego’s best pizzas at Pizza Cucina. The last year has hit the bottom line hard and Passo said he has followed state guidelines to a tee.

“The last year has been tough, I probably lost 48% of my business during the COVID,” said Passo. “I put the kebosh on indoor dining, no service indoors whatsoever.”

Now he’s dusting off the tables and chairs.

“I feel fortunate to be able to serve 25% capacity inside,” said Passo.

Knowing his neighbors have kept indoor dining going regardless of the rules, doesn’t change anything for Passo.

“I’m not criticizing anyone over the restriction,” Passo said. “But as soon as we can get this under control, we can go back to a normal life.”

The local sheriff’s department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on whether any citations have been issued for violating state COVID-19 restrictions, likely due to the holiday.

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