TRI-COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) — Two Tri-County business owners are thankful and excited as they witness Central Illinoisans opting to choose restaurants to dine outdoors.
Whether it’s your sweet tooth or a craving for cultural cuisine, a Morton and Peoria business agree, they’re grateful for phase three of Governor Pritzker’s “Restore Illinois” plan, which was put in place because of COVID-19.
“It really has opened my eyes a lot,” said Keely Letourneau, Owner of Sucre Sweets and Socials. “Not only on how we operate, but what’s important to the customer. This really kind of brought us back to why we opened in the first place and what our customer is expecting and wanting to see.”
“We were shut down about two & a half, three months, and we did a lot of take-out, but we needed something like this to get all of our waiters back, bartenders…and start working again,” said Jose Leon, Owner of Jalapenos.
The owner of Morton’s Sucre Sweets and Socials, located at 321 S First Ave, Morton, IL, said the pandemic has allowed the business to make changes to cater to customer needs.
“We noticed people really like to pop in real quick, grab their [food item] and go,” said Letourneau. “So we’re going to install a walk-up window.”
Owner of Peoria’s Jalapeños Metro Bar & Grill, located at 4700 N University St, Peoria, IL, said its employees worked diligently to create its outdoor space.
We built our patio in eight hours and we got permission from the Metro Centre to do it,” said Leon. “We opened on Friday at 11 and I think we probably served 150 people all day.”
Both owners began offering outdoor dining on May 29. At almost a full week of business, each said they’re overwhelmed with community support.
Restore Illinois’ phase four plan allows for bars and restaurants to open with capacity limits and Illinois Department of Public Health approved safety guidelines.
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