UPTOWN — Big Chicks and Tweet will reopen Saturday for takeout service — one week after closing due to a regular coming to Big Chicks while sick and learning the next day he had coronavirus.
On Oct. 23, sister restaurants Big Chicks and Tweet closed after learning that a customer who celebrated his birthday at Big Chicks the night before had tested positive for coronavirus.
The customer came to the bar despite feeling sick and getting a COVID-19 test earlier in the week, business owner Michelle Fire said.
Fire closed her restaurants to give her staff time to get tested. The plan was to reopen on Monday, after hopefully all staff had tested negative at least twice, she said.
The testing has been conducted, and all staff “is in the clear,” Fire said in an update to customers. Big Chicks and Tweet will reopen Saturday for takeout, two days earlier than anticipated.
The temporary closure caused Big Chicks and Tweet to miss out on the last week of indoor dining for some time. It was a financial hit to both the business and its staff, who had their salary covered for the week off but did not make money from tips.
“It’s the right thing to do, but it’s a hit,” Fire said. “My poor staff.”
Iconic LGBTQ hangout Big Chicks, 5024 N. Sheridan Road, will be open for takeout from 5-9 p.m. seven days a week. Tweet, its brunch counterpart at 5020 N. Sheridan Road, will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. seven days a week.
“We recognize that we have been extraordinarily lucky so far in the support we have received from the community,” Fire said in an email to customers. “Your support helped keep us afloat this summer, allowing us to weather the storm so far.
“Now that the seasons have changed, we ask for your continued support this fall and winter,” she said.
Big Chicks has been a staple Uptown business since 1986. Fire opened Tweet in 2003, operating a breakfast and lunch service to Big Chick’s dinner and bar business.
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