Lakeview first in Chicago to close streets for outdoor dining program

Coronavirus

CHICAGO — More outdoor spaces are open to the public starting Friday in Chicago.

The road blocks are in place, and soon Broadway will be the first road in the city to open for expanded seating.

Outdoor dining moves to the streets in Lakeview.

Maureen Martino is the Executive Director of the Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce.
She helped launch the “Make Way for Dining” program, which will shut down Broadway between Belmont and Diversey.

“And being the first of the pilot programs to just feel out how the rest of the neighborhoods are going to roll out, the restaurants are really excited about being able to get the extra capacity to bring in more people, bring in a little bit more money,” Martino said.

There are five other streets which have been given the green light to do the same. But Lakeview East is the first to move forward with the traffic closure.

The expanded outdoor seating will happen on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend and next — which has some residents concerned about getting around.

Martino said they’ll be monitoring how the roll out goes, and will make changes as necessary.

“It’s going to be a little bit of an inconvenience to the neighborhood, but the overall goal is to shake things up a little bit to see what difference can be with just pedestrians who walk down the street of Broadway,” Martino said.

On the same day, the Chicago Riverwalk opened up for the first time since the end of March. There will be “Riverwalk Monitors” making sure people are following CDC guidelines.

Broadway will reopen to street traffic Monday morning.

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