ROGERS PARK — A portion of the Jarvis Square business corridor will close to car traffic on weekends through at least the summer, allowing for expanded outdoor dining for four area restaurants.
Jarvis Avenue from the “L” tracks to Glenwood Avenue will close from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday as part of the city’s pilot program to close neighborhoods streets for more outdoor dining. The city has closed at least 10 other streets to help restaurants struggling through the coronavirus pandemic expand the number of customers they can serve.
Under the pilot, restaurants in groups of three or more can apply for outdoor seating that extends into the street.
In Rogers Park, four restaurants received the OK to expand outdoor dining: R Public House, Taste Food & Wine, Charmers Cafe and Anto Pizza.
Three of those businesses — R Public House, Taste Food & Wine and Charmers Cafe — neighbor each other in the 1500 block of West Jarvis. Those business will expand seating into Jarvis during weekend hours.
Anto Pizza, 1547 W. Jarvis, is separated from those businesses by the “L” tracks and an office building. The street will not close west of the L, but Anto has been allowed to expand its outdoor dining onto the adjacent sidewalk, said Tony Barbanente, chef/owner of Anto.
“It’s too far for us to go down the street, so we just extended down the sidewalk,” he said. “That’s even better than the street.”
The outdoor dining expansion will be a boon to the Jarvis Square restaurants that have weathered the coronavirus outbreak and economic downtown, only to see the city recently re-tighten business restrictions, business owners and managers said. Jarvis Square is the name of the business corridor surrounding the Jarvis “L” station.
None of the participating businesses opened to indoor dining following the stay at home order out of an abundance of precaution, said Jenni Smith, manager at R Public House.
At R Public House, the outdoor dining permit allows them to expand their seating from six tables to 15.
“It helps so much,” Smith said. “We’re super excited to have this extra space and be able to have fun this summer.”
The first time Jarvis was closed for extra dining space was last weekend. It went well despite some inclement weather, Smith said. The permit runs until December, she said.
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