On Monday, the governor finally began to loosen his death grip on the throats of Illinois small businesses. Many of our fellow local establishments were fortunate enough to remain open through the last couple months of largely-unenforced closure orders (without adding to the COVID case load, which is important to note). Those of us who were forced to close, have been waiting patiently for a chance to open our doors once again.
Starting this Friday, that chance is real. We're still unsure of the requirements to qualify for a re-open, which is unfortunate since we're just a couple days out and we don't know when we'll get official word. Many places have depleted their inventory and need more than a couple days to restock the coolers, us included. But don't worry, we'll be ready.
In the meantime, this *should* be the last time we have to endure this process. With the vaccines finding their way into the arms of more people every day, and with us moving farther away from the supposed Holiday Spreader events that never materialized in this area, we expect numbers to continue a gradual decline through the rest of the winter, which should make a normal-ish spring/summer season a very real possibility.
A lot of people have asked us why we remained closed, and considering everyone else around here is still open, that's a valid question. Our best answer is that we've weighed the risks of reopening against the cost of remaining closed and following the mitigation orders, and the risk to reopen is too great. We're one of the lucky establishments who received grants from the state, and those grant funds can be revoked if we ignore closure orders. Also, with one closure already on our record, a second could mean we lose our liquor license, and it could be several months before we got it reinstated. We learned a lot about how to weather this storm when we dealt with the closure of March-June, and we're even more confident we can survive this one as well.
The only real pain of being closed for this long (besides not being able to see all of you on the reg) is the loss of income for our bartenders. And we're very happy to share that, between our virtual tip jar and in-person donations, you fine folks gave nearly $2000 to our bartenders in the weeks leading up to Christmas. THANK YOU FOR THAT!!
We'll be open soon enough. Maybe this weekend, maybe not. But when it happens, we'll be ready to welcome you back inside. Watch our social media for announcements over the next few days, and keep those fingers crossed for good news!