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Expanded Outdoor Dining Coming To Balmoral Avenue In Andersonville

Three Clark Street restaurants received a permit to allow for expanded outdoor seating on Balmoral Avenue.

Balmoral Avenue near Clark Street will close to traffic to allow for expanded outdoor dining.
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ANDERSONVILLE — Balmoral Avenue near Clark Street will close to traffic starting Wednesday to allow for expanded outdoor dining in Andersonville.

Balmoral will be closed east and west of Clark Street, from Clark to the alleys, to allow for additional outside seating 5-10 p.m. Wednesdays through Mondays, Ald. Harry Osterman (48th) said in an email to constituents.

Three Clark Street restaurants — Replay, Hamburger Mary’s and Vincent — received an expanded outdoor dining permit from the city, allowing them to convert the street into socially distanced patio seating.

Hamburger Mary’s and Replay’s expanded seating will take over Balmoral west of Clark, and Vincent will expand dining into the street just east of Clark.

The new outdoor seating is part of a pilot program the city is running to allow restaurants more space to reopen following the stay at home orders. Under the pilot, restaurants in groups of three or more can apply for outdoor seating that extends into the street.

Hamburger Mary’s, Replay and Vincent joined forces on the application. The permit will allow the businesses to greatly expand their seating options, but visits to the restaurants may not resemble what customers are used to.

Vincent, 1475 W. Balmoral Ave., has revamped its service model to allow for online preordering as well as contactless food dropoffs.

Those wishing to visit Vincent will be asked to make an online reservation for a table of their choosing at the restaurant. Food orders will be made virtually and before guests arrive, and drink orders and additional food can be added once guests are seated.

As food is prepared, it will be delivered to a table near the guests, who can then grab their food and bring it to their table. Because orders are made online and paid for before arriving, there will be no requesting the check at the end of the meal, the restaurant wrote on its website.

“We sincerely believe that we’re at least on the right track with these new ideas and practices,” Vincent’s management wrote. “And we would love nothing more than the support and patience of each and every person to grace our dinky little patio.”

The city has closed six busy streets to allow for expanded outdoor dining, but none are north of Lakeview.

Read all of Block Club’s coverage on outdoor dining here.

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