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Quincy approves 26 guidelines for outdoor dining

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Illinois restaurants are preparing to reopen for outdoor dining on May 29.

Tuesday night, the Quincy City Council adopted a resolution that has 26 guidelines for restaurants to follow if they choose to reopen for outdoor seating.

The guidelines make it possible for restaurants to utilize the space around them for outdoor seating.

At The Park Bench in Quincy, there isn't much outdoor seating space, but with city approval, it would be able to put a new deck out front and use the parking lot on the side of the building.

Meanwhile, tents are up at the Grove Inn. The Patio is ready to go at the Abbey. There are more seats on the back deck at Revelry as the local businesses prepare for outdoor dining.

"We're really excited to tread the water just a little bit," The Park Bench and Revelry owner Rusty Williams said.

"It's another step, another challenge, but we've been on the worst side and are looking forward to this side of it," The Abbey owner Gabe McClean said.

Williams is working to map out a new set up to accommodate outdoor diners.

"By Friday, all of this is going to be cleared, we'll set up a barricade and have tables set up out here," Williams said.

These adjustments are in line with the city of Quincy's new guidelines.

Those guidelines include the use of public streets, alleys, sidewalks, and parking lots, and the use of temporary tents, all with permission. Tables must be six feet apart, alcoholic beverages must be ordered outside and there will be no live music unless approved by the city council.

"We want to be as helpful as we can," Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore said.

"But we also, with some of the outdoor aspects, need to be respectful of our neighborhoods. I believe that this struck a good balance where we're respecting neighborhoods, but also allowing our bars to open up a little bit."

McClean also plans to take advantage of the guidelines, with nearly 80 outdoor tables.

"We're going to put more chairs in the front of the new part of the building with a tent, then we're going to utilize the employee parking lot and put a big tent up there for more seating," McClean said.

Both owners said all tables will be six feet apart with six people limits per table and all employees will wear masks and gloves, as they wait to fully reopen their doors.

"Hopefully in the next couple of weeks, they'll start loosening up more, because if it continues like this, I don't know how people can survive," Williams said.

When it comes to tents, Moore said they must remain open, with no sides on them.

The Abbey plans to open for lunch and dinner at normal business hours. The Park Bench will be open for lunch at normal hours. Williams said the Revelry will be open from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Moore said if business owners want to use city sidewalks, city streets, or city parking lots for dining, they can start that process immediately.

If they want streets closed, live music, or other requests, they need to put requests in by Friday mornings and they will go before the council on Monday nights.

Also on Wednesday night, Quincy City Council approved a $750,000 loan for Quincy Public Transit and adopted grant resolutions for State Street Bar & Grill and Vancil Performing Arts Center.

The 26 guidelines approved by the Quincy City Council ae below:

  1. Social distancing shall be observed at all times.
  2. Access to beer gardens shall be allowed through an outside entrance. If an indoor entrance is utilized all seating must be removed and premises made inaccessible.
  3. Tables must be 6 feet apart (measured from the edge of the table to edge of the table)
  4. Outdoor dining is encouraged on public sidewalks if:
    1. A 4-foot wide pedestrian walkway must be provided and maintained at all times on sidewalks.
    2. Adjacent to the property. An establishment will be allowed to have tables set up at a nonadjacent location if they receive written permission from the affected property. No locations across the street will be allowed.
    3. An encroachment permit is filed (The City of Quincy will have a permit that applies to every restaurant and bar)
  5. The open container ordinance (Chapter 111.110) will be waived. An employee shall be located outside while alcohol is being served or the storefront windows of the building shall be such that an employee inside of the business can monitor the outside area.
  6. The noise ordinance (Chapter 96) will be waived.
  7. Establishments can operate under normal business hours. If more than one peace disturbance is issued to an establishment their hours may be reduced at the discretion of the Chief of Police.
  8. Off-street parking requirements (Chapter 162.092) will be waived.
  9. No live music is allowed unless an Outdoor Live Entertainment Permit is approved. (There will be no fee for the permit during Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois Plan.) An Outdoor Live Entertainment Permit is required regardless of the expected crowd.
  10. Recorded music shall end at 10 p.m. unless approved by the City Council.
  11. Tents will be allowed if the tent is sideless during operating hours and by adhering to the temporary structure requirements. A minimum of a 5 pound, ABC fire extinguisher must be under the tent and readily accessible to staff at all times when the tent is in use. No fee shall be charged for the temporary structure permit during Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois Plan.
  12. No food preparation will be allowed outside unless permitted by the Adams County Health Department and the Quincy Fire Department.
  13. The closure of public streets, public alleys, and public parking lots will be permitted if approved by City Council. (No streets designated as snow routes will be closed)
  14. Establishments will be responsible for trash pickup every night.
  15. Businesses must monitor outdoor activities at all times.
  16. Alcoholic beverage orders to be consumed on premise must be ordered outdoors.
  17. Establishments must allow for adequate plumbing fixtures based on the number of occupants/patrons per city plumbing code.
  18. All outdoor furniture must be secured from a weather event if left outside overnight.
  19. A credit will be issued for the month of June to all liquor license holders who renew their licenses.
  20. The prepared food, beverage, and alcohol tax shall be postponed until January 1st, 2021.
  21. All recommendations will be in effect for the duration of Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois Plan. All recommendations and waivers will be null and void in future phases unless reaffirmed by the Quincy City Council.
  22. As the Governor’s Executive Order expires on May 30th, and we are entering into a new phase on May 29th section 133.11 of the Municipal Code of Quincy shall be considered terminated upon adoption of the resolution.
  23. Any deviations to the recommendations must be requested to and approved by the Adams County Health Department, Quincy Police Department, Quincy Fire Department, Engineering, Planning and Development, and the Mayor. Requests should be submitted to kmoore@quincyil.gov or calling 217-228-4545.
  24. Parties/Seating must be in 6 or fewer.
  25. There will be no charge for entrance above what has been previously charged by the establishment.
  26. Indoor space where 50% or more of a wall can be removed via the opening of windows, doors, or panels provided that dining tables are within 8-ft from such opening.

These recommendations shall not supersede the directives of the State of Illinois. 

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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