Northalsted bars and restaurants to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination ahead of Market Days

Tue. August 3, 2021 12:58 PM by Kevin Wayne

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‘In Chicago, we can be open and be careful,’ says Dr. Allison Arwady

Bring your COVID-19 vaccination card to Northalsted Market Days this weekend as a majority of the bars and restaurants along the N. Halsted St. corridor, popularly known as “Boystown,” return to vaccination requirements for entry.

The policy change is ahead of the three-day street festival, which bills itself as the largest in the Midwest, and at a time the city is seeing its average daily number of cases more than double in a matter of weeks.

Hydrate Nightclub, 3458 N. Halsted, and Scarlet Bar, 3320 N. Halsted, were the first to make the change over the weekend. 

“Our staff expressed a general concern to our GM. We polled our customers on Thursday night, and 100 percent of them had their proof of vaccine on them, so we made the policy effective the next day,” Scarlet owner Paul Cannella told 

D.S. Tequila Co., 3352 N. Halsted, Elixr Lounge, 3452 N. Halsted, Replay Lakeview, 3439 N. Halsted, Roscoe's Tavern, 3356 N. Halsted, and Splash Chicago, 3339 N. Halsted, also require proof of vaccination.

Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted, will begin to ask customers to show their vaccination cards along with their IDs at the door starting Tuesday. 

Just north of Sidetrack, Progress Bar, 3359 N. Halsted, will resume vaccination requirements on Wednesday.

Scarlet and Roscoe's will also allow for a negative Covid test within the last 72 hours for entry.

Over the weekend, the City of Chicago issued new guidance that recommends facial covering for everyone passing through indoor public places.

“In Chicago, we can be open and be careful,” Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during a press conference Sunday. “We have no current plans to shut down Chicago again.”

Cannella said he doesn't believe in government mandating closures of private businesses.

“It's also not fair that people's decision to not be vaccinated jeopardize my business, and employees' livelihoods, by inflating positivity rates,” he said. “I made an informed decision on what was best for our staff, customers, and business.”

“Our customers love this decision and said it makes them feel better knowing everyone else is vaccinated,” he added. 

The 39th annual Northalsted Market Days kicks off Friday at 5 p.m. and runs through Sunday at 10 p.m. on N. Halsted between Belmont and Addison. 

Proof of vaccination for entry to outdoor public festivals is not required by the city. However, organizers encourage attendees to be vaccinated or wear a mask to keep the community safe. 

Related: Northalsted Market Days to offer free COVID-19 testing, vaccinations 

“Being careful means getting vaccinated. When you get vaccinated, first and foremost you are protecting yourself,” Arwady said. “When our numbers are higher, you put on a mask. When you put on a mask, you predominately are protecting others. These two things working together help us to be careful as a city, and to stay open."

Related: NYC requires vax cards to get into any indoor venue; Chicago won't follow suit