After reporting three consecutive days with a COVID positivity rate above 8%, new restrictions went into effect on August 26 in Will County, stopping restaurants from offering indoor dining.
For many in an industry recovering from months of revenue loss, the uncertainty is the worst part. Outdoor dining is still an option, but places like Anthem Ale House have televisions inside for live sports and karaoke nights that can’t bring patrons inside for the time being.
“It’s a huge impact for all of us over here,” said Ken Eng, owner of Anthem Ale House. “And the thing is we don’t know when this is going to end.”
Restaurants in the Naperville Crossings development are just a few blocks south of the border between Will and DuPage counties, which only adds to their frustration.
Restaurants Adapting Quickly
That includes Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano, which acted quickly to adapt to the changes.
“Monday evening, it was just like, you’ve got to figure something out by Wednesday, here you go and it’s going to be outdoor dining only,” said General Manager Steve Siman. “So we’re doing the best we can to still deliver the Biaggi’s-type experience, even though we’re out in a tent in the middle of a parking lot.”
The restrictions will be reevaluated in a minimum of two weeks, and if metrics don’t improve, more restrictions will be applied. But with restaurants now on the back half of the outdoor dining season, some aren’t sure if they can bring in enough money before their busy season ends.
Limited Outdoor Season Remaining
“We are very limited on the weather we have left – it’s going to be what, maybe a month?” said Paris Bistro Co-Owner Jonathan Santos. “At least let us take advantage of the limited time that we have and do indoor as well.”
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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