CHICAGO (CBS) — While the city’s beaches are still closed, lakefront visitors can soon enjoy a view of the sand and waves while dining out on the patio of one of several lakeside restaurants.
The Chicago Park District confirmed lakefront restaurants and concession stands were given permission to reopen this week, after being forced to close the past few months due to the pandemic.
Lakefront restaurants must follow the same public health guidelines as other restaurants — including 25% capacity on indoor dining, at least six feet of space between tables, and no more than six people per table indoors or outdoors. Employees must wear masks at all times, and customers must wear masks whenever they are not seated.
Concession stands will be required to provide grab-and-go service only.
“Lifting restrictions on lakefront concessions allows the City to maximize the use of outdoor space while supporting lakefront businesses,” the Park District said in a statement.
Beaches and lakefront parking lots remain closed, but the Lakefront Trail remains open, so the beachside restaurants will have to rely on foot traffic, or on customers riding bikes.
Reggie’s On The Beach was the first lakefront restaurant to open on Thursday. Owners said the restaurant at 63rd Street Beach will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, with the kitchen serving food until 10 p.m. Reggie’s also will run an hourly bus shuttle from its South Loop location to the lakefront restaurant between noon and 8 p.m. for customers who want a ride, or to avoid searching for parking west of Lake Shore Drive.
“A big thank you to the mayor’s office for working with us to open up safely and thank you in advance to all of our friends and customers for following these new rules to keep everyone safe. See you soon!” Reggie’s owners wrote in a Facebook post.