ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS) — The stormy weather is another drain to restaurant owners. With only outdoor seating allowed, some are seeing their profits dry up.
Restaurants in Arlington Heights were put to the test Wednesday.
In the height of the lunchtime rush at the Arlington Alfresco, as fast as customers came so did the wind, rain and damage. A quick burst of stormy weather sent tables toppling over, left menus and abandoned food soggy.
But one couple said the meal was worth it even though they found their convertible wet from the rain.
“We had just gotten our food, and we didn’t know where we would go if we did get up and leave,” said Penny Regan.
That’s also a challenge for the restaurant owners. COVID-19 means outdoor seating only — no one inside. Bad weather means a hit to their bottom lines.
“It is for sure. I mean, yesterday we lost our dinner,” said Kim Cho, owner of Bangkok Cafe. “We had no customers sitting outside. Nobody.”
In Arlington Heights downtown streets are closed for more seating. It’s a great model to get more customers but more of a challenge when weather creeps in and those people have nowhere to go.
“It’s a little bit of panic for a couple of minutes, but it’s out of our control. We deal with it,” said Derek Hanley, owner of Peggy Kinnanne’s Irish Restaurant and Pub.
Village staff members say the rules are in line with with the state’s and encourage businesses to close with the threat of severe weather. Customers should leave with to-go containers when it happens unexpectedly.
The village goes on to allow businesses to put up tents. Tables, chairs and fencing have to be a certain weight to withstand winds, but for those who stuck it out Wednesday there were brighter hours ahead.