CHICAGO (CBS) — The nice weather mixed with the election news is bringing out droves of people to bars and restaurants across Chicago on Saturday, but with COVID-19 restrictions in place, owners have to adjust.
CBS 2’s Steven Graves report big crowds were out all day in Lakeview.
Dryhop Brewery owner Kyle Niekwol said the crowds started filing in as soon as news outlets began reporting Joe Biden was projected to win the race for president.
Cars filled the street on Broadway in Lakeview, and drivers honked their horns, as diners celebrated on restaurants’ sidewalk patios.
Restaurants can only allow outdoor dining for now, after Gov. JB Pritzker banned indoor service last week due to the resurgence of COVID-19 throughout the state.
On Broadway, sidewalk space is limited for tables and tents, so the action on Saturday kept workers busy, serving customers at socially distanced tables.
The warm weather over the last week has forced Niekwol to call extra employees back to work.
“I made a full schedule for the staff for the dining restrictions, then the next week we had to basically double it for the weather,” he said. “Every day it’s been full all day; I mean, going on a waitlist within an hour of openings.”
Niekwol said, without the near-record warm weather, they would have relied heavily on takeout in recent days, but they do expect some brave souls to sit outside once cold weather returns.