Welcome back, diners

Monique Grant speaks with the waiter as she and her friends (left to right) Fajr Al-Nurridin, Farrah Monroe and Cassandra Harding enjoy their first night out together with a drink at Pizza Capri, 1501 E. 53rd St. The city reopened outdoor dining on Wednesday after weeks of shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Discussions between restaurants along 53rd Street, the Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce and Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) discussing a vehicle road closure to accommodate expanded outdoor dining have stalled.

"As it stands, there are no plans to shut down 53rd Street," Hyde Park Chamber of Commerce head Wallace Goode said in an email. "If individual restaurants are interested in expanding their seating via patios, sidewalk or into the street, the chamber is happy to assist them."

In an email provided to the Herald, Lanita Ross, Hairston's assistant, said the Chicago Department of Transportation reviewed various options the working group had put forth to close 53rd and made recommendations on the best way to secure the public from traffic.

"Each option did have a cost associated including the reimbursement to Laz Parking for the loss of parking revenue," Ross wrote. She confirmed that the group decided earlier in June not to pursue the street closure at this time but would keep options open.

(1) comment


Ah, some sense! Not that they would ever admit that it was a bad idea because it would strangle traffic in Hyde Park, but if they don't choke off 53rd St. whatever reason they give is fine.

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