Now that the city of Chicago and state of Illinois are, as of Friday, fully reopened for business, some people are eager to get back out. And some say: Not yet.
With the city of Chicago and all of Illinois now fully reopened for business, we asked whether readers plan to go out to bars and restaurants going forward as much as they did before the pandemic. Some answers have been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.
“Yes, absolutely. I realized how much I took hanging out with friends for granted and doing more work than play. It’s time for balance.” — Jimmy Vidaurri
“Absolutely. Life is too short to keep on worrying. Enjoy your time with friends and family.” — Kathleen Compton
“Yes — but I also didn’t stop going to restaurants during the pandemic.” — Lisa Stripling
“Nope. I decided I like sobriety. There’s a big world out there to see.” — Guy Williams
“I plan to be out about the same to cultural performance events — theater, shows, concerts, exhibits. For restaurants and bars, I will try to limit the dollars spent to only quality, interesting, experiential food and limit the takeout and casual dining, as I have rediscovered the pleasure, satisfaction and price convenience of cooking your own food.” — Ovidiu George Pristavu
“No. Service blows, and food has been awful lately at many places. The pandemic ruined everything.” — Kathleen Alcantar
“I plan to be out and about probably more because I didn’t realize how much I took it for granted. But will mask up if there are a lot of people in a smaller space. It’s been great not having so much as the sniffles for the past year with the mask/hand sanitizer combo! Vaccinated and ready to go!” — Cheryl Wisniewski
“I plan on going to outdoor cafes this summer. I had a steak-and-egg breakfast at a outdoor cafe last week. It was amazing.” — Brian Anderson
“No, not until I am sure this has gotten to the stage of any other virus. There will be people out carrying the virus unmasked and won’t care. I also don’t believe that it is suddenly safe to rush out into huge crowds all of a sudden just from last month, when it wasn’t supposed to be wise to do so just because the government now gives it the OK.” — Patty Gayden
“Probably not. If it’s something this pandemic and lockdown has truly taught me, it’s that I hate people.” — Ana Argueta
“I plan to go much more than I did before because I’ve been reminded that no restaurant lasts forever. Many bars and restaurants that I always said I’d go to sometime in the future have closed for good due to being, quite understandably, unable to weather this storm.” — Julia Harris