HINSDALE, Ill. – With the entire state outside of Chicago moving into Phase 3 of reopening Friday, suburban restaurants are getting ready.
With the new rules, “eating out” now means eating outside.
In Hinsdale, crews are closing off a portion of a Quaint Alley and some streets so restaurants will be able to serve more customers as they sit at tables six feet apart.
“I think it’s going to be packed,” Hinsdale resident Amanda Mancini said. “We actually have reservations for this Saturday at Fuller House.”
Burr Ridge is one of several suburbs helping restaurants make room for more outdoor dining space by erecting tents.
Page’s Restaurant has been surviving on weekend carry-out orders since March. It only has amounted to about a quarter of their usual sales.
“I get what’s going on but we have to survive. This is the little diner that could. That’s my catchphrase for this place. We’re 40 years old,” said owner Cissy Rallo. “It’s time to reopen. Slowly and safely, but let’s do it.”
The mother and daughter owners haven’t lost their sense of humor. On Thursday, they added a face covering to their cut-out of Governor Pritzker, which sits alongside a masked Mayor Lightfoot.
But they know, the true spirit of their restaurant won’t be back until every customer can return.
“I have to say our customer base has been wonderful,” Kathy Barbara said. “Take out business has been fabulous. I have no complaints. But I miss everybody and just want everyone to come back.”
Other suburbs helping to expand outdoor dining capacity include La Grange, Glen Ellyn and Naperville.