Flossmoor outdoor dining 2020-06-01 036
Local News

Flossmoor OKs outdoor dining rules as businesses start to reopen

An outdoor dining area in Flossmoor is open for customers. The move into phase 3 of the state’s Restore Illinois pandemic recovery plan allows restaurants to begin outdoor service. Since mid-March restaurants have been limited to takeout and delivery. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

Flossmoor village board members Monday approved regulations for outdoor dining as many restaurants in Illinois begin serving customers on parking lots and patios. 

An ordinance with guidelines for outdoor dining was approved at the June 1 board meeting, which was held remotely due to COVID-19.

An outdoor dining area is open for customers along Sterling Avenue in Flossmoor. Restuarants are now allowed to serve diners outdoors. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

The ordinance relaxes temporary signage and minimum parking regulations to accommodate restaurants in need of dining space. It requires outdoor service areas to be maintained at all times and service must not continue past 10 p.m. Furthermore, outdoor restaurateurs must provide measures preventing interference with adjacent businesses while also keeping customers safe.

Restaurants in Illinois were prohibited from serving customers in person following Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s executive order, which went into effect March 17 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pritzker announced two weeks ago that some restaurants in Illinois would be able to open for outdoor dining with restrictions starting May 29. 

Flossmoor’s municipal staff last week met with about 25 local businesses on the video conferencing platform Zoom to discuss the logistics of outdoor dining in addition to other ways the village could support them, Village Manager Bridget Wachtel said. 

“We met with some of the downtown businesses to walk through the layout,” she said. “Then, the village procured the concrete barriers, tents and tables in time for the opening on Friday.”

Tables and canopies are in place on Sterling Avenue parking spaces for the Bistro on Sterling and Dunning’s Gourmet Market & Deli. Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery also reopened for outdoor dining last week at its existing patio space.   

Flossmoor will help encourage residents to shop locally through the village’s marketing efforts, Wachtel said. 

“The village recognizes that these are trying times for our business community and we will continue to support them in their hour of need,” she said. 

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