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Riverwalk Vendors Begin Reopening Friday, Starting With Beat Kitchen And City Winery

The Riverwalk will be fully operational by the end of May.

The Chicago Riverwalk.
Roman Boed/Flickr
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DOWNTOWN — Vendors on the city’s Riverwalk will begin opening for the season starting Friday, with more vendors coming online weekly through May.

The city has allowed three vendors to open their spaces Friday along the popular destination along the Chicago River: Island Party Hut, Beat Kitchen on the River and City Winery.

More Riverwalk vendors will open on a weekly or biweekly basis through May, when the attraction will be fully operation for the summer season, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Friday.

“The Riverwalk is not only an important part of our city’s economic engine, but it also adds to the liveliness of our iconic summers,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “This reopening serves as yet another indicator of our city’s resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we look forward to making this Chicago staple available to residents and visitors this spring and summer.”  

The Riverwalk, a recreation and walking area along the Chicago River, was closed to at the start of the pandemic but reopened last summer. The attraction has remained accessible since, but vendors close for the winter season.

There are at least 11 vendors along the Riverwalk, including restaurants, bars and recreation companies like kayak rentals. New this year is Pier 31 on the Riverwalk, which will open in May.

Social distancing and mask wearing will be enforced this summer at the Riverwalk, officials said. Groups will be limited to 10 people, according to the city.

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