Peoria Heights prepares for reopening with popular street seating

Local News

PEORIA HEIGHTS, Ill. (WMBD) — Peoria Heights businesses are gearing up for Friday when restaurants and bars can begin outdoor operations.

The village is bringing back its popular street parklets for seating options.  

Social distancing and face mask rules for restaurant employees will be in place. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the reduced number of confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide, along with fewer hospital admissions, prompted his decision to “give our hospitality industry a much-needed boost.”

Last week, an email went out to local restaurant owners that still wanted the village’s seven street seats, Village Administrator Dustin Sutton said.

“We’re excited to get open and thankful to the governor for his leadership,” Mayor Michael Phelan said. “We’ve been working on a plan, both Administration and Public Works, that’s safe and complies with the governor’s executive order but lets people get out and patronize businesses. We’re just really happy that people are going back to work and that businesses are going to be open again for extended business hours.”

Meanwhile, municipalities are being asked to think creatively regarding ways to expand outdoor seating options, including using parking lots and closing down streets.

“We are relieved and excited to open up in any capacity,” said Robbie Mathisen, co-owner of Pour Bros. and Slow Hand.

“We are looking at about maybe 38 seats outside, and they’re separated…socially distanced correctly,” said Matthew Ingraham, Cayenne General Manager. “So we’re trying to an early seating, a 5/5:30 and then a later seating, 7/7:30 and holding parties to 10 or less. The servers, food servers will have gloves on, mask on, and you know, sanitizing…taking all the precautions we can, so we’re very excited.”

Guidelines for retail:

  • A maximum of 50% of store capacity or five customers are allowed per 1,000 sq.ft of retail space.
  • Customers should not bring reusable shopping bags into stores.
  • Shopping mall food courts should have all indoor seating and tables removed.
  • Fitting rooms should remain closed if employees can’t disinfectant after every use within a disinfectant contact time of 1 minute or less.

Guidelines for restaurants and bars:

  • Outdoor area capacity should be determined by arranging seating to provide at least six feet of space between tables.
  • Six-person party limit.
  • Customers should wait for services off-premises.
  • Live music is permitted but social distancing guidelines should be in place.
  • Face covering required, except while eating and drinking.

Guidelines for personal care services:

  • The service provider should configure space to allow for at least 6-ft. of the distance between customers.
  • The service provider should eliminate the service of all beverages.
  • Maximum of 50% of capacity OR 5 customers allowed per 1000 sq. ft. of usable space.
  • Reservations only, no walk-ins.

Guidelines for health and fitness centers:

  • Reservations only, no walk-ins permitted.
  • Members should maintain 10-ft. of distance during exercise.
  • Members should wear face-covering whenever not exercising.
  • Contact exercises such as boxing, sparring, wrestling, etc. are not permitted.
  • Equipment should not be shared between members at the same time unless from the same household
  • If possible, the fitness center takes member temperature using a thermometer.

Pritzker’s guidelines span 10 different industry categories. To view detailed guidelines for each industry, visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website.

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