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The Chicago Alfresco Program + More Restaurant Stories To Know About

All the Chicago restaurant news you need for the week of March 22nd.

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Chicago Alfresco Program

Right before winter hit, the city held a contest for restaurants to come up with creative winter outdoor dining ideas. Chicago is doing a similar thing again, by launching a program called Chicago Alfresco, for restaurants and/or neighborhood groups to design “creative long-term outdoor spaces.” And using money donated from Diageo, the city is awarding a limited number of grants (up to $250,000) for businesses that create outdoor public space on the south and west sides. Interested businesses can apply on the Department of Transportation website.

Expanded Outdoor Dining Will Be Back This Summer

Last year the city launched its Outdoor Dining Program, closing streets to allow for expanded outdoor dining. And expanded outdoor dining isn’t going anywhere - especially as we wait for more people to become eligible for vaccines. Block Club Chicago reports that it’s happening again this year, and the city will provide grants of up to $5,000 to 400 restaurants to buy dining furniture, signs, and protective equipment as part of an effort for low-to-moderate-income neighborhoods throughout Chicago.

Lao Peng You Owners Will Be On Clubhouse Chat “Love For AAPI Restaurants”

The owners of one of our favorite Chinese restaurants, Lao Peng You, will be participating in a Clubhouse chat called “Love For AAPI Restaurants” at 7pm. They’re joining restauranteurs from all over the country to discuss Anti-Asian racism and being operators in a predominately white space. If you’re interested in attending but not a member of Clubhouse, you can DM the moderator to be invited.

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