While the City of Rockford is working hard to make it easier for Rockford's restaurants to make outdoor dining/seating work, Chicago's mayor Lori Lightfoot is saying "not now."

This, in spite of Governor Pritzker saying on Wednesday that Illinois bars and restaurants could offer outdoor seating while following social distancing guidelines.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that while she was "heartened" by Pritzker's words, she didn't think that Chicago would be ready by May 29th (next Friday).

Mayor Lightfoot may be heartened, but restaurant owners in Chicago are anything but.

Some restaurant owners expressed disappointment. The owners WGN News spoke with said they are hurting with revenue down 85% to 90%. And that every day that goes by they lose more money. Many have had to lay off a majority of their staff.

Lightfoot said she wants a more robust plan in place to make sure restaurants can reopen safely. “My hope is that soon in June that we will be ready,” she said.

Nick Lombardo is the Chief Operating Officer of the Rosebud Restaurant Group

“We were hoping it would be coming sooner than later,” he said. “We’ve been hoping we could open up the street here and put more tables. The patio we normally have wont’ be enough to support our restaurant.”

The mayor also said she is looking at plans to reopen the lakefront, but isn’t there yet.


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