Restaurants preparing to re-open for outdoor customers

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — In only 3 more days, restaurants and bars will be ready to serve customers again–only if they can make room outside for tables and chairs. The owner of Rockford’s Greenfire Restaurant, Shendet Ismajlaj, is planning to include the parking lot.

“This is going to be the first time outdoor seating for Greenfire,’ explained Ismajlaj.

Greenfire Bar and Bakery is gearing up to serve customers outside after weeks of curbside and delivery orders. On Friday, restaurants will be able to offer outdoor dining, after submitting an application with the city.

“We’re waiving any of the outdoor seating permits, so that we can enhance their seating options. We will allow temporary outdoor seating in parking lots, sidewalks and alleys,” Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara explained in Tuesday’s press briefing.

Mayor McNamara is enforcing the guidelines laid out in the state’s Phase 3 re-opening plan, so there is still plenty of work to be done before outdoor customers are served.

Ismajlaj said that he is going to set up a large tent in the restaurant parking lot with enough space to allow tables to remain six feet apart.

“We are going to be playing with the numbers to make sure that we keep the distance and everything else. Hopefully, we can seat maybe like 100 people, 120 people out there. I’m hoping to get in more, but we’ll see how it is,” Ismajlaj said.

Greenfire patrons are encouraged to make a reservation and park in the rear parking lot or at the neighboring Illinois Bank and Trust lot.

“I’m really excited and my staff is excited, and you know it’s going to be great to see our business thriving again,” Ismajlaj added.

To view the full guidelines from IDPH, click here.

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