Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Friday once again began imposing draconian coronavirus lockdowns on the Windy City’s beleaguered businesses, but owners are at last beginning to organize against the rules.
Lightfoot’s newest restrictions were scheduled to take effect on Friday and include a ban on indoor service for bars without a food license, and curfews, ABC 7 reported.
“As part of the new rules, bars without food licenses will need to stop indoor service again. All liquor sales at all establishments must end at 9 p.m.,” ABC noted.
Lightfoot also demanded “non-essential businesses” must close between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Businesses she deems “essential” will be allowed to operate as usual. Those businesses include grocery stores, pharmacies, and restaurants that serve as take-out.
Lightfoot has also banned gatherings of more than six people, and she claims she will not allow any gatherings after 10 p.m.
But some business owners are finally speaking out. The owners of Four Treys Tavern, for instance, threatened to stay open in defiance of Lightfoot’s orders.
“I just figured the hell with closing up, I’ll just stay open,” Four Treys co-owner Paul Seng told ABC. “Give me my license money back. If you’re going to raise my taxes and all that stuff and put me out of business, then well, it’s insane.”
“It’s more draining for my employees,” said Colleen Flood, another Four Treys Tavern co-owner. “That’s what bothers me the most. Don’t they think about the employees? How are they going to pay their bills?”
Other bar and restaurant owners in Illinois agree, and some are beginning to organize against Lightfoot’s and Illinois Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s renewed draconian lockdowns, Fox News reported.
Ki’s Steak and Seafood in the Chicago suburb of Glendale Heights also threatened to ignore the lockdown orders.
“We are standing up for our freedom, and WE WILL STAY OPEN! We have been in business for 80+ years, and no one is going to tell us we can’t live out the American dream,” the establishment wrote on Facebook.
The owners of DuPage County-based La Hacienda de los Fernandez are also sick and tired of the lockdowns.
“We have collectively decided to remain open at all three of our locations in DuPage County,” the restaurant said on its Facebook page. “It is time we take a stand for our freedom and our rights. Please support us and dine in.”
In addition, the Illinois Restaurant Association lambasted the lockdowns.
“Unless the state of Illinois takes a more reasonable approach to mitigation, thousands of restaurants are at risk of permanent closure,” IlRA President Sam Toia said in a Facebook video statement. “Closing restaurants for indoor service will result in the exact opposite of the intended impact of slowing the spread, as it drives people further into uncontrolled, unmonitored private gatherings where few safety precautions are in place.”