Suburban businesses defying governor’s orders by remaining open

Coronavirus

DuPAGE COUNTY, Ill. – The oldest restaurant in DuPage County is defying the governor’s latest mitigation measures, calling it a “lose-lose” situation.

Starting Friday, restaurants and bars in DuPage, Will and Kane counties were ordered to halt indoor dining due to an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the region.

Dining restrictions are now in place in four of the state’s 11 regions.

Governor Pritzker said his administration will look into removing business’ liquor and gambling licenses if they do not comply. Additionally, he said the local state’s attorney and Illinois State Police can issue warnings and citations.

The owner of Ki’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant, located on North Avenue in Glendale Heights since 1934, is fighting back after suffering revenue losses to the pandemic.

“It wasn’t an easy decision, I knew how it would look and the governor, I’m a small fish in a big pond, a little guy running a restaurant, but it was really a matter of survival,” said owner Spiro Roumpas. “Almost a lose-lose situation if I close, I may not reopen.”

The Illinois Restaurant Association has slammed Pritzker’s indoor dining restrictions, saying they will kill the service industry after an already tough year.

In DuPage County, only 6% of COVID-19 outbreaks have been reportedly traced to restaurants in the last seven months.

The owner of Ki’s, along with dozens of other restauranteurs in the area, are fighting back to refuse being shut down.

“The financial desperation of these business owners is coming to the point that if they don’t stay open there is going to be a huge proportion of them that close forever,” said attorney Tom DaVore.

DaVore said he has consulted with many restaurant owners across the state and said that over 500 have not complied with the governor’s orders, without consequence.

“After six months not one time has a bar owner or restaurant owner ever been closed by a court,” DaVore said. “Nor have they ever attempted to have one closed by a court. They are merely engaging in criminal intimidation.”

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