Restaurants Adapted to COVID-19

Since the Covid-19 outbreak caused the city and state to shut down many businesses had to close under new safety guidelines. This caused panic throughout the minds of business owners as they had no revenue for multiple months.

Thankfully once summer came around, Lori Lightfoot, the Mayor of Chicago, start the process of opening up the city which leads to the spike in sidewalk cafes as social distancing rules limited the number of patrons that were allowed inside a restaurant.

As seen on the map of the Chicagoland Area, thousands of restaurants took the opportunity to open up again, yet these businesses are all located downtown or on the Northside of the city.

The distribution of these areas is highly concentrated in the most affluent neighborhoods. This could be caused by the disparity between food availability between the North and South sides of the city.

Most businesses avoid neighborhoods like Englewood and Chatman. This has to lead to food deserts across the city when residents can not get any fresh food or nonprocessed meal.

When scrolling through the map, the lack of any markers that display the locations of restaurants is strikingly apparent. There is little to none on the Southside that would even be able to open up a sidewalk patio.

Another explanation for this phenomenon could be that the restaurants that do choose to have sidewalk seating do so because they feel safe having their customers sit outside and continuing their business practices outside of their four walls.

The Southside of Chicago has the most concentrated crime rate than any other part of the city. This would leave many patrons to avoid outdoor seating even if it was available.

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Ewa Lapczynska

Ewa Lapczynska

UIC ’21

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