CHICAGO (CBS) — While many Chicago-area restaurants are re-opening with limited dine-in service, there are some that choose a different approach. CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross takes us to one business that’s putting caution before cash during the pandemic.
Katherine Valleau, co-owner of Exit Strategy Brewing Company, says “everybody wants to get past this”-referring to the yearlong outbreak of COVID-19. But, she believes, it’s still too soon to reopen her business for indoor drinking and dining.READ MORE: Car Strikes Wall On Dan Ryan Expressway At 95 Street; Delays Expected
Restaurants hosted limited reopenings this past weekend, meaning about 25% of capacity for indoor dining.
But the brewing company is turning down the potential business of about 25 people indoors at a time, foregoing thousands of additional customers per week.
“This is a people over everything else decision,” Valleau said.READ MORE: United Center Could Turn Into Mass Vaccination Site
The Illinois Restaurant Association estimates half of restaurants won’t take part in indoor re-openings — most due to the costs and limited sales gains.
Valleau says following gut wrenching layoffs, the business committed to carryout in the fall and continues in the winter. It’s business plan meets survival plan.
“My first thought every day is, save the business,” she said. “I’ll pivot as many times as I need to pivot to make it through this.”
The restaurant will not offer in-person dining until there’s improvement in the COVID numbers and more people get the vaccine. Also, if the temperatures rise above 68 degrees, the business will open up the windows and some seating, too.MORE NEWS: 22-Year-Old Woman Shot While Sitting In Car In Rosemoor
The brew pub owners want to make clear: They don’t have any issues with other restaurants opening up indoor dining. Their decision not to serve inside, is what’s best for them.