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September 21, 2020
Chicago Winter Outdoor Dining Guidelines: What We Know So Far
Everything you need to know.
Written by

As Ned Stark and Mayor Lori Lightfoot keep reminding us, “Winter is coming.” And while Chicago restaurants have spent the past three months focusing on all the new rules for indoor and outdoor dining, now they have to think about how they’re going to handle the cold weather.

The city just released its “Fall And Winter Covid-19 Outdoor Dining Guidance,” which isn’t as much fun to read as you might think. That’s why we’re going to unpack the most important info for you below.

What You Need To Know

How are they going to keep us, you know, warm?

Temporary outdoor structures (including tents and those igloo things) are allowed - as long as they follow certain regulations.

OK, like what?

Well, structures with multiple parties sitting inside must have at least 50% of the sides open for airflow.

What about space heaters?

There need to be three feet of clearance between heaters and all other objects (like the tent’s sides) and gas heaters are only allowed in open, uncovered areas.

What about those igloo things?

Enclosed structures, such as plastic domes (aka those igloo things), can be used only for individual parties and must have ventilation for air circulation

But... isn’t that basically eating indoors?

Right. So if plastic domes or any other enclosed spaces are used, the restaurant has to post signage about the increased risk of Coronovirus transmission.

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