Hyde Park businesses prepare for their big reopening as Chicago enters Phase 3

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As Chicago enters Phase Three of reopening Wednesday, some business owners in Hyde Park are excited and anxious about opening back up.

Some of the businesses said it's kind of like the first day of school jitters. They don't know what exactly to expect, but they plan to put their best foot forward to make their customers feel safe.

Pizza Capri is a Hyde Park staple. The owner, Max Taleb, said he wasn't sure if Mayor Lori Lightfoot would move forward with Phase 3 Wednesday, but he is glad she did.

"The first two weeks when this happened, our sales were 80 percent down," Taleb said. "Then, we started to pick up a little bit. Now, we're about 50% down and we are looking forward to getting some of that business back."

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Eric Williams is the owner of the Silver Room. He's also the organizer of one of the biggest festivals on the South Side.

Williams said he is somewhat nervous to open after everything that's gone on over the last several days. He supports the mayor's decision and believes the time for Phase 3 is now.

"I think it's important and as a business owner, if you don't feel comfortable, you don't have to do that, but there are some people who think that it's necessary," Williams said. "Personally, I think that coming back to a sense of normalcy is important. Be it your local flower shop, your local dressmaker, seeing your friends again. I think that's going to bring the spirit back."

READ: Mayor Lightfoot's full plan for reopening Chicago in early June

Williams says pouring into his community and providing positive images of black culture is one way he plans to honor the life and legacy of George Floyd.

He has spent most of this time renovating the Silver Room and says he can't wait to see his customers and continue to give back to the South Side.
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