The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted significant policy changes at all levels. We're here to catch you up and support business in Lincoln Square and Ravenswood. Please see our COVID-19 Business Resources website for a comprehensive list of resources to aid your business during this time.
After a tumultuous weekend of protests, Chicago proceeded to phase 3 on Wednesday and eased restrictions on a variety of businesses. We hope that you, your families, and your businesses are - and continue to be - safe.
If your business would like the chamber to publicize any expanded offerings in phase 3, please reach out with details and/or pictures.
Expanded Outdoor Dining Opportunities
One of the new developments for restaurants is an
Expanded Outdoor Dining Permit application to allow for outdoor dining in the street and other public areas. Our chamber is very interested in taking advantage of these permits in a way that takes a variety of businesses and business needs into account. We anticipate applying for one or more permits after conducting some further business outreach and planning.
Alderman Martin has received resident feedback in support of a block or two of dining along Lincoln Avenue, at some point between Lawrence and Wilson. If businesses located along Lincoln agree, this will likely be the location of the chamber's first application.
These Expanded Outdoor Dining Permits are available to chambers, SSA's, business associations, or a group of 3 restaurants on 1 block.
Although applications are being accepted, no Expanded Outdoor Dining Permits will be approved by the city until the pilot areas have been tested and approved.
If a restaurant has a private parking lot or other outdoor private property that does not currently allow dining, that restaurant can apply and get an Expanded Outdoor Dining Permit to seat patrons in this space.
Sidewalk Cafe vs Patio Permits
Although we have to wait for Expanded Outdoor Dining Permits, sidewalk cafes and patios are able to be used now.
Sidewalk Cafe Permit is needed to place tables and serve patrons on the sidewalk or in the parkway (the area between the sidewalk and the street).
Patio License is a type of liquor license needed for businesses to serve alcohol outdoors on private property. This is distinct from the sidewalk cafe permit mainly in the distinction between private and public property. You can find more information about
liquor licensing here. To our knowledge, a special permit or license is not required for a restaurant to serve food (not alcohol) outdoors on their private property.
New Liquor Rules Coming
The state passed a law to allow existing liquor license holders to sell mixed drinks for pickup and delivery. T
he City of Chicago does not yet allow cocktails to go but will debate a local version of this law tomorrow in a committee hearing. We'll be reporting on the result ahead of an anticipated passage of a local cocktail to go ordinance at City Council on June 17th.