Illinois may rescind mask mandate as COVID-19 case rates drop

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Illinois could significantly reduce its COVID-19 mask mandate in the coming weeks as case rates decline, winter’s omicron surge wanes, and other states, including California and New York, are moving towards canceling their own demands.

Gov. JB Pritzker is expected to detail his plan to roll back statewide mitigation measures on Wednesday, according to the Grandstand, after telling reporters earlier this week that he was pleased with a noticeable drop in hospitalizations. Illinois’ mask mandate was reinstated in late August with the rise of the highly contagious delta variant.

Pritzker’s announcement will follow Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s statement last week that officials could lift the city’s vaccination mandate within weeks if pandemic numbers continue to decline. . The rule, which requires patrons age 5 and older to present proof of full vaccinations in bars, restaurants and other public indoor spaces, was implemented in early January in the city and suburb of Cook County.

Once again, Chicago’s hotel community is bracing for another curveball as weary operators and employees try to keep pace after nearly two chaotic years of COVID-19. Despite the stresses of the moment, these regulations pale in comparison to the indoor restaurant closures of 2020, and many in the industry are hoping for a lively spring and summer festival season.

South Side bar faces city disciplinary hearing and possible closure

Trouble continues for Nipsey’s Restaurant & Lounge at 9156 S. Stony Island Avenue in the Burnside neighborhood, which the city says provides entertainment without proper licensing and whose patrons, neighbors complain, are loud and rowdy when they leave and prone to urinating in public. A disciplinary hearing before the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) originally scheduled for Jan. 28 has been postponed to Feb. 25, Block Club reports, after the city added several more complaints to the case. Aldus. Michelle Harris (8th) said she supports the complete closure of Nipsey’s. But co-owner Teddy Gilmore, whose previous restaurants have faced similar complaints, believes he is being unfairly targeted by the city and hopes the matter can be settled quietly.

Nipsey Restaurant and Lounge in Burnside.
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Police shut down Wicker Park nightclub after gunfire

The Point nightclub at 1565 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park was temporarily closed by Police Superintendent David Brown for being a threat to public safety after shots were fired in the building at 5 a.m. Sunday, the Sun-Times reports. It was the second incident in six months: A gunfight in October killed one of the gunmen, prompting the city council to ban overnight parking on the 1400 and 1500 blocks in Milwaukee. However, these two incidents occurred outside of Point opening hours, as the Sun-Times points out, and owner Jun Lin had called the police twice on Sunday morning to disperse the crowd; the shooting occurred after the last police car had left. In order to reopen, Lin can request a probable cause hearing before Mayor Lori Lightfoot within three days.

South Side baker takes over candy store

With a $1.5 million grant from the Chicago Community Trust, Stephanie Hart, owner of Brown Sugar Bakery in Chatham, will expand her candy business, reports Brown Sugar Life Is Sweet, Block Club. Hart bought the Cupid Candies factory at 7637 S. Western Avenue in December 2020 and began selling sea salt caramels and chocolate turtles in January 2021, but the new grant will help him renovate the building, which requires a lot of structural work, and provide space for Brown Sugar’s baking operations. Hart hopes to have construction completed by October.

New Latin music festival debuts in Grant Park on Memorial Day

The Sueños Music Festival, a celebration of Latin reggaeton highlighted by J Balvin, Ozuna and Wisin & Yandel, will debut in Grant Park on May 28-29, the Sun-Times reports. In addition to the music, the festival, produced by the same folks who bring us Lollapalooza, will also feature food and drink served by local restaurants and bars, as well as pop-up cocktail lounges and, not to be rest, Riot Fest, a Ferris wheel. Tickets go on sale Friday, February 11.

Review of the week: Segnatore is a worthy successor to Café Marie-Jeanne

Zach Long from Free time visit Segnatore, the new Italian restaurant that has taken over the Humboldt Park space previously occupied by the beloved Café Marie-Jeanne, and finds in it a worthy successor. “Chef Matt Troost,” writes Long, “compiles a menu respectful in its technique (especially the handmade pasta) but decidedly playful in its presentation,” which sets it apart from other new Italian restaurants such as Alla Vita and Adalina.

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