Chicago is "on track" to resume indoor dining beginning Saturday, Jan. 23, state officials announced on Friday.
The city and Cook County will move from Tier 2 to Tier 1 of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's COVID-19 mitigation plan as long as “metrics continue to improve or are stable,” according to the Illinois Department of Health.
"With all regions of Illinois now out of Tier 3, we can now see that the entire state is headed down the right path," said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike
. "During the summer, we were on this same path. We know that we must continue to take precautions and be smart about how we relax some of the mitigation measures, which are in place to protect our health and safety."
Tier 1 mitigations allow restaurants and bars that serve food to seat customers inside at the lesser of 25% capacity or 25 people per room. Tables will be spaced 6 feet apart and parties may not exceed four people. Bars that don't serve food will have to keep their service outdoors for now.
City bars and restaurants have been limited to outdoor service and takeout since October 30, prompting some restaurants to go into hibernation and many to close. Replay Andersonville temporarily closed
on Jan. 4 of this year.
Mark Liberson, the owner of Replay and multiple bars and restaurants in Andersonville and Lakeview, said that 2020 has been “the most challenging year of my professional life.”
Liberson told GoPride.com
his locations are prepared to keep staff and guests safe after installing UV/Ionization Air Purification systems in all HVAC units and then supplementing that with medical-grade free-standing air purifiers in every room.
Hamburger Mary's in Andersonville closed for business on Nov. 1
after almost 15 years.
The bar and restaurant originally planned to move from their current location, 5400 N Clark, at the end of the year, but the Covid-19 pandemic led to the decision of an early closure instead.
And the oldest LGBTQ bar on the Northalsted strip, Little Jim's, closed its doors permanently in early-July.
About 17% of America's restaurants permanently closed in 2020, according to a report by The National Restaurant Association.