Restaurants reopen for limited indoor dining in Regions 8, 9 as part of Gov. Pritzker's reopening plan

LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- Under Gov. JB Pritzker's COVID-19 reopening plan, four more suburban counties in Regions 8 and 9 are able to offer limited indoor dining starting Tuesday.

The Illinois Department of Public Health moved DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties to tier one mitigations. Bars have to serve food in order to open and businesses will be limited to 25 people indoors or 25% capacity per room.

Limited capacity does not help certain restaurants, so they will continue not to have indoor dining currently.

"From a fiscal standpoint and a safety standpoint for both the community and the crew, it just doesn't make sense for us to be able to take advantage of it. I wish we could, but I'm excited for those who can," said Steve Moreau, Babcock's Grove House. "All we got to do is make it through a few short months, keep a positive attitude, stay healthy and then spring will be back, and we will be back at it."

Other restaurant owners said the benchmark is a big relief as they struggle to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: Chicago indoor dining reopens as city, suburban Cook Co. move to Tier 1

"My dream is to build some restaurant because I work like 10 years in the kitchen, and one day, I say, 'Maybe I open one restaurant," said Tony Zekjiki, Egg House.

Zekjiri opened the restaurant with Bani Ismaili in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"You know, we got good deal, and it is time, but it is scary with the restrictions and stuff coming. It is scary," Ismaili said.
"Sep. 14, we open and we're doing pretty good. They shut down again like Oct. 23 I think so, and after that, we tried to survive. It's really tough," Zekjiri said.

The regions were able to move to Tier 1 mitigations since test positivity is between 6.5% and 8% for three consecutive days, staffed ICU beds availability has improved and there is no sustained increased in COVID-19 patients in hospital for seven to 10 days.

"We respect rules because we don't make the rules and we have to respect," Zekjiri said.

"Here in the States, if you work, you make it. In the middle of a pandemic, you make it, but you have to work," Ismaili said.
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