WICKER PARK — One of Chicago’s most popular summer patios has closed after a worker at Big Star tested positive for coronavirus.
Big Star, 1531 N. Damen Ave., reopened in June for outdoor and socially-distanced dining with COVID-19 safety protocols, but late Sunday an Instagram post announced a staffer had contracted the virus.
“We will be taking thorough precautionary measures in accordance with our safety protocol and have closed the restaurant, effective immediately,” the post reads. “We will be closed for a few days as the restaurant undergoes a deep clean and complete sanitization. In the meantime, we are coordinating COVID-19 tests for each of our team members at Big Star Wicker Park. We want to be sure that our team is safe and healthy before returning to work.”
Big Star is the latest Chicago restaurant forced to close after a staffer tested positive for coronavirus.
Last month, Replay Andersonville, 5358 N. Clark St., closed after a server at the tested positive. Lincoln Park’s Galit, one of the participants in the neighborhood’s outdoor dining program, also closed when a worker tested positive. Before that, Logan Square’s Longman & Eagle shut down for the same reason as well as Fork in Lincoln Square.
All restaurants had safety measures in place for workers and diners, but the virus made its way in anyway. Business owners said it’s an unfortunate reality if they want to stay afloat during the pandemic.
“We should all expect it at some point, that someone tests positive,” Replay owner Mark Liberson told Block Club. “By being intelligent about it, we can live with the virus.”
Big Star said those with existing reservations will be contacted in the coming days to reschedule or have their deposits refunded.
”We are committed to providing the safest possible environment for our team and our guests and will reopen as soon as we feel confident to do so,” the Instagram post said.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.