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Under phase three of the Protecting Chicago reopening framework, many industries can start reopening on June 3rd under strict social distancing restrictions and industry-specific guidelines.

During phase three, establishments that serve food in Chicago may reopen for outdoor dining only.

Businesses must have a Retail Food License in order to operate outdoors and establishments that do not serve food, such as bars and lounges, must remain closed for any on-site consumption.

Outdoor dining can include alcohol service, provided that the location has the proper liquor licenses.

Alcohol sales for on-site consumption will be allowed until 11 p.m., while the 9 p.m. liquor sale curfew will remain in place for carry out and delivery of liquor products.

Additionally, the City is working on local legislation to allow for the sale of mixed cocktails to-go in Chicago. Please note that the sale of mixed drinks to-go is not currently permissible.

Food-serving establishments may open sidewalk cafes, outdoor patios, rooftops, rooms with retractable roofs and indoor spaces where 50% or more of a wall can be removed via the opening of windows, doors, or panels provided that dining tables are within 8-ft from such openings.

Tables must be six feet apart, with no more than six people per table and ten people per gathering.

Click here for more information on how to obtain a sidewalk café permit.


In addition to the existing outdoor dining options, today Mayor Lightfoot announced 6 corridors that will pilot expanded outdoor dining in the streets:

  • Chatham: 75th Street from Calumet Avenue to Indiana Avenue
  • Lakeview: Broadway from Belmont Avenue to Diversey Parkway
  • Little Village: 26th Street from Central Park to Harding Avenue
  • Rush & Division: Rush Street from Oak Street to Cedar Street
  • Near West Side: Taylor Street from Loomis Street to Ashland Avenue
  • West Loop: Randolph Street from Expressway no further than Elizabeth Street

After this initial pilot launches, Mayor Lori Lightfoot will evaluate expanding programming to other areas in the City.

Beginning Monday, June 1, chambers of commerce, Special Service Areas (SSAs), business associations and restaurants in groups of three or more can visit the City website to submit an application for Expanded Outdoor Dining.

This will allow for existing, fully licensed Retail Food Establishments to temporarily use streets or private property for outdoor dining and drinking.

Businesses that are looking for more information about expanding outdoor capacity should reach out to their local chamber of commerce or visit beginning June 1st.

To help business owners navigate the array of outdoor dining options,BACP has created an outdoor dining FAQ.

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