City inspectors cited five bars and restaurants for violating rules designed to stop the spread of COVID-19, officials said Thursday.
All of those establishments were cited for failing to ensure customers were wearing face coverings or following social distancing rules, said Isaac Reichman, a spokesperson for the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
None were over capacity, Reichman said.
“As we continue to expand reopening, it is critical that businesses do not lose sight of all the health regulations, not just the capacity limits, that keep our community safe,” Reichman said.
City officials will redouble efforts to remind business owners that they must follow those rules, even as the pandemic eases across the city and officials ease restrictions, Reichman said.
City inspectors investigated 73 businesses from Thursday through Sunday and cited three businesses in addition to the five bars and restaurants, officials said.
For the second time in a month, the city cited Renaissance Bronzeville, 4641 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Drive. The most recent citation was for failing to require masks and social distancing rules. Earlier this month the bar was cited for hosting a gathering with more than 100 people without face coverings and for not enforcing social distancing rules. The bar was also cited for allowing on-site smoking without a tobacco license.
Inspectors cited Kids Empire, 4938 S. Kedzie Ave., for allowing more than 100 patrons inside the children’s activity center. In addition, inspectors shut down an event at 3306 W. North Ave. because attendees were not wearing face coverings.
City inspectors also cited:
— The Debonair Social Club, 1575 N. Milwaukee Ave., for holding an event without face coverings or social distancing.
— Eastside Sharks, 100 E 79th St., for failing to require employees to wear face coverings.
— Jake’s Pub, 2932 N. Clark St., for failing to maintain social distancing, failing to require patrons to be seated while eating or drinking and failing to require face coverings.
— Luigi’s Pizza, 4210-12 W. Madison St, for failing to require employees to wear face coverings.
— Safari Lounge & Ethiopian Cuisine, 7124 N. Clark St., for failing to maintain social distancing, failing to require patrons to be seated while eating or drinking and failing to require face coverings.
Since March 2020, city inspectors have conducted 8,809 investigations and cited 462 businesses for violating COVID-19 regulations, officials said.
The latest round of citations comes as city officials warned residents about St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
“All Chicagoans are urged to avoid large gatherings and, if they choose to go out, are expected to celebrate responsibly in small groups with social distancing and face coverings,” according to a statement from the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.
Establishments cannot sell tickets to a St. Patrick’s Day event unless they have a Public Place of Amusement License, and bar crawls are discouraged, officials said.
Inspectors will step up probes starting Saturday, concentrating on the city’s entertainment districts.
Chicago and Cook County officials announced March 2 that bars and restaurants were allowed to operate at 50% of their normal capacity, or no more than 50 people.
Bars and restaurants can stay open until 1 a.m., and liquor stores can stay open until 11 p.m.
Performance venues, movie theaters and personal services can also operate at 50% of their normal capacity, or no more than 50 people, according to the rules.