WEST LOOP — Some West Loop eateries will soon be able serve diners on Randolph Street as part of the city’s pilot program.
The initiative announced earlier this month by the Mayor’s Office will close thru traffic on six commercial corridors to allow restaurants to spread out tables on surface streets for outdoor dining.
In West Loop, Randolph Street could be closed from the expressway to Aberdeen Street as early as this weekend, West Loop leaders said.
Carla Agostinelli, executive director of the West Loop Community Organization, said the pilot program created by the Mayor’s office is an extended sidewalk cafe permit allowing for restaurants to expand permit to serve diners on surface streets along Randolph Street.
The pilot areas were identified by the Mayor’s office in bringing back businesses, Agostinelli said.
The West Loop Community Organization and the West Central Association worked with local restaurants to apply for permits and are currently in review. Pending state and city approval, dining could be permitted on the street this weekend, Agostinelli said.
As part of the pilot, Randolph Street would be closed Friday evenings and all day Saturday and Sunday, Agostinelli said.
Rod Burch, executive director of the West Central Association, said he hopes the program can be expanded beyond just weekends.
Girl and the Goat the Darling, Lone Wolf, Bad Hunter, Princi, Cruz Blanca, Forno Rosso Pizzeria Napoletana and Au Cheval are among the restaurants who have applied for permits.
Agostinelli said this pilot is separate from another shared streets initiative the Mayor’s office introduced allowing pedestrians and cyclists to use closed surface roads.
“This was a pilot program asked of us by the mayor’s office to put together,” Agostinelli said. “This is not a festival…This is strictly extended cafe program that will allow for sidewalk cafes to extend into the surface to make up for lost revenue over the last three months.”
The West Loop Community Organization is also working on coordinating similar closings for restaurants to serve along Fulton Market Street, Agostinelli said.
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