City of Champaign: No closures of major streets expected, but restaurants and bars will be able to use alternative spaces such as parking lots, closed minor streets and other areas to expand outdoor seating options
The City of Champaign announced Friday that it is actively developing plans to help bars and restaurants benefit from the ability to reopen for outdoor seating, which is expected to happen on Friday, May 29.
The city was working on such plans prior to Wednesday’s announcement by Governor J.B. Pritzker that bars and restaurants could open throughout the state of Illinois on May 29, but has accelerated the process.
The city sent out a news release today (May 22) detailing the options.
1) The City will coordinate with those establishments that can provide outdoor dining via the City’s current Outdoor Café Program, located primarily in downtown, to determine how seating can be provided in compliance with the state’s new guidelines.
“In cases where the typical outdoor café layouts cannot be accommodated, the City is committed to working with business owners to find alternative solutions,” the news release said.
2) Planning is underway to create three “Downtown Picnic Parks” on portions of closed streets where customers will be able to enjoy carryout from local restaurants. This is being developed in collaboration with the Champaign Park District and would involve closing some minor streets in the downtown area.
Additional guidance is expected to be released by the state in the near future, after which the details of the City’s plans will be finalized so that Champaign’s bars and restaurants will be able to take advantage of the new outdoor dining provisions beginning Friday, May 29, the release said.
(This is a developing story. We will add plans for other municipalities as we receive them.)