TRIBUNE: Year-round sidewalk cafes in Chicago? Plans are in the works.

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The Chicago Tribune is reporting, “Hardy Chicagoans determined to dine al fresco in the winter months may have more options as the city moves toward allowing sidewalk cafes year-round.

The city now allows restaurants to operate sidewalk cafes from May to December. Lengthening the season could help boost restaurant sales on unseasonably warm days in colder months, and the city might also allow heated enclosures, which are currently prohibited. Any change will require City Council approval.

“There are some days in January or even February that are brisk but mild,” said Chris Wheat, policy director for Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Businesses want the flexibility to (serve outside) year-round.”…”

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