Starting to Emerge
By Village Manager Phil Kiraly
This Wednesday, Governor J.B. Pritzker made the surprising announcement that not only were we well on track throughout the State of Illinois of moving to Phase 3 in his Restore Illinois Plan, but also that a number of changes were coming that would allow more parts of our economy to reopen, at least partially.
If you are unfamiliar with the Governor’s announcement, the following can take place, with certain restrictions:
- All retail stores may reopen;
- Sports like golf and tennis can be played with fewer restrictions;
- Spas and personal care facilities (like barbershops, nail salons and salons) can reopen;
- State parks can reopen;
- Boating with groups of up to 10 and other outdoor activities can resume; and
- Restaurants can provide outdoor seating options.
Read the full text of the Governor’s release here.
As we begin the summer season this holiday weekend with the Village’s virtual Memorial Day ceremony, this is surely welcome news. While the Village waits for detailed State requirements following the Governor’s announcements, one area where staff are already working hard is considering how to accommodate outdoor seating for our Glencoe restaurants. New restrictions will require a minimum six-foot spacing between tables in addition to adequate space for pedestrians, and for now, no indoor seating options.
As you can probably imagine, these guidelines pose some challenges in dealing with outdoor seating. However, even before Wednesday’s announcement, the Village’s fantastic Business Services Team had been discussing this subject with the Glencoe business community. We have been considering how we might close portions of streets, use parking areas for seating or even create centralized dining areas. During Thursday’s Village Board Committee of the Whole meeting (watch it here on YouTube), our Board and staff further discussed these ideas, gathering great feedback that adds to the comments we have received from many of our restaurants already.
The Village’s next step is to develop a new outdoor seating plan, in partnership with our restaurants, as quickly as possible. Our core goals with this effort are to support our entire business community (not just our restaurants) and create safe environments for our residents to dine out under the guidelines set by the State. While some communities like Arlington Heights and Hinsdale are shutting down streets throughout the summer, that may not work for us in Glencoe for many reasons; for example, we don’t want to negatively impact some Glencoe businesses while trying to help others in downtown Glencoe. Specific concepts we are exploring include:
- Closing all or a portion of Vernon Avenue between Park and Hazel Avenues for short, designated periods of time (perhaps weekend evenings)
- Utilizing space in the Village Court parking lot to accommodate dining
- Using portions of Tudor Court (once construction is complete later this summer) to accommodate dining or even special events (within safety guidelines)
As we work through these outdoor seating ideas (and others) throughout the next few weeks, the Village welcomes your feedback. Feel free to send your comments to Management Analyst/Deputy Village Clerk Jordan Lester via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wrapping up my blog to you this week, I hope you and your families can take time to enjoy this holiday weekend and that you join others in Glencoe for our virtual Memorial Day remembrance at 11 a.m. on Monday. However you intend to celebrate the holiday, please remember to do so responsibly by wearing face coverings and appropriately distancing. We all play important roles in keeping the Glencoe community healthy and safe!