UPDATE: At the request of the downtown restaurants, the Village will not be closing downtown streets for outdoor dining. The purpose of keeping streets open is to maintain access to each restaurant’s curbside pick-up. Alternative curbside pick-up sites (including Metra parking and Village Hall parking lots) were discussed but ultimately determined by the restaurants not to be practical for their operations).
The Village of Wilmette is fully committed to supporting its restaurant community and will do everything we can to support and expand outdoor dining. Some communities have already announced street closures in their downtowns to allow for outdoor dining in the streets. Such action was one of many under consideration by the Village but ultimately not supported by our restaurant community (ultimately outdoor dining must be done safely and in a manner that works best for the restaurants). Alternatively, the Village is seeking to expand outdoor dining along sidewalks throughout the downtown and is considering seating at the Village Hall green and the use of parking lots in and around the downtown.
Governor Pritzker recently announced that restaurants can begin outdoor dining service as part of Restore Illinois Phase 3 (originally restaurants could not open until Phase 4). The region that Wilmette resides in is projected to move to Phase 3 on May 29.
This modification to Phase 3 permits bars and restaurants to resume outdoor seating only. Tables must be six feet apart, masks and distancing measures for staff must continue to be followed, and other precautions and guidance will be issued
We have been in close contact with our restaurant community and will continue these conversations to ensure that the expansion of outdoor dining meets the needs of our restaurants and is done in a safe manner for all involved.
This page will be updated periodically as outdoor dining plans are finalized.
For more details on activities allowed under Phase 3, read the Office of the Governor’s Press Release.
This post was last updated at 7:00 a.m. on 5/26/2020.