WEST TOWN — As Chicago moves into Phase 3, residents can once again sip beer on a bar patio, get their hair cut, get a tattoo, have their nails done and shop in a retail storefront.
But no one is returning to a true sense of normal — at least not for awhile.
Patios along Division Street in Wicker Park were packed with customers on Wednesday, but every server, busser and bartender wore a face mask.
Stylists at Tailor Barber snipped hair, but they did so from behind large pieces of plywood covering their glass windows following weekend vandalism.
While certain businesses have reopened, you can expect your experience to be a lot different. At salons, for example, you’ll likely have to book an appointment ahead of time. You’ll be asked to wear a face mask. You won’t be able to wait inside.
Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) on Wednesday told neighbors in Wicker Park he was glad Mayor Lori Lightfoot decided to move the city into Phase 3 despite continued protests for police reform and justice for George Floyd.
Within one day, he said, restaurants owners in the 2nd Ward reported an “outpouring” of support from their customers. While COVID-19 is still in the city, it’s time for citizens to make “informed choices” about leaving their homes.
If people do choose to visit neighborhood businesses, Hopkins encouraged them to “over tip.”
“Everyone is going to have to make a personal risk assessment on their own,” he said. “We’re not gonna return to normal, let’s be honest. Thats a good thing. Part of ‘normal’ was a society so wrecked with equality and hatred and fear … We do want to return to some semblance of society. That’s necessary for all of us to pay the bills, if nothing more.”
Health officials nervously await what impact the state’s gradual reopening, the hot weather and waves of protests will have on the pandemic.
“As we open up, that naturally gives more opportunities for exposure,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, on Wednesday. “So people who are in the highest-risk category for poor outcomes … we need them being especially cautious, not taking chances.”
Wherever you go this week, it’s a good idea to call the business or visit their website to figure out what owners are asking customers to do.
Know of a business reopening not on these lists? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Salons, tattoo parlors
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