ALTON - After a long absence because of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s shutdown order, restaurants/bars should see a lot of outdoor action starting Friday. On Wednesday night, the Alton City Council approved a resolution to shut down a portion of State Street in Downtown Alton for the time being.

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Illinois will move into Phase 3 of a new governor’s order on Friday that includes an option for restaurants and bars to open with outdoor seating and social distancing stipulations.

Alton Main Street Executive Director Sara McGibany said: “It’s wonderful to see our city leadership doing everything it can to help our bars and restaurants make the best of this situation. Chief Jason Simmons has emphasized that opening weekend is a trial run and this arrangement will only be allowed to continue if patrons adhere to social distancing guidelines, so we encourage everyone to maintain a safe distance while enjoying themselves Downtown.”

Until further notice, the hours for outdoor dining in Alton will be from noon to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and noon to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Bossanova on Third Street has an expanded curb now that will help its location, Mayor Walker said. Mac's will open its outdoor seating area, which is a good size, and Fast Eddie's Bon Air on Fourth Street in Alton has taken the roof off its outside area and will open for the first time since mid-March.

Alton Mayor Brant Walker said Friday will be a good day for the small business owners of Alton and citizens. He also stressed that COVID-19 safety precautions will be in place.

“I am excited about moving into Phase 3 to allow some of the small business owners, restaurants and bars to start generating some revenue,” Walker said. “I am hoping it will also provide an uptick in Alton residents' mentality; a feeling that things are moving forward and getting back to normal.”

This is the resolution approved at the Alton City Council Meeting:


WHEREAS, Mayor Walker has recommended that the City cooperate with bars and restaurants to expand available outdoor seating allowed under the Illinois Phase 3 COVID-19 Restrictions which start May 29, 2020; and WHEREAS, the City Council is in agreement with the Mayor’s recommendations.

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NOW THEREFORE BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF ALTON, ILLINOIS AS FOLLOWS THAT the Public Works Department, Police Department and Fire Department shall cooperate to close the following:

State Street from its intersection with the south right-of-way line of Wall Street to the north right-of-way line of West Broadway

Barricading State Street at the north right-of-way line of West Broadway

Barricading State Street at the south right-of-way line of Wall Street

Barricading Third Street at its intersection with State Street.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that business owners utilizing said street for dining shall:
Assure that customers maintain social distancing guidelines of the Illinois Department of Public Health.

A space of at least 6 feet shall be maintained separating each table.

Each table must be cleaned by the business owner serving food or drinks to that table after every use of the table by customers.

At the end of the time allowed for the closure of the street, the business owners are required to remove any tables or chairs or other personal property from the street.
The business owners shall be responsible for all clean up from the streets of all garbage or debris.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that business owners in downtown Alton may utilize the public sidewalks for tables and chairs allowing service of food and drink with all of the same conditions as set forth above to be applicable to State Street. In addition, an owner of any property may refuse to allow tables and chairs to be placed in front of his or her property by anyone other than that owner.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Police Chief or his designee is hereby directed and empowered to monitor the above-referenced area to reasonably assure that the guidelines for reopening restaurants and bars as established by the Illinois Department of Public Health are followed. Should a business owner fail to follow the guidelines or fail to abide by the restrictions of this resolution, the Chief of Police or his designee is directed and authorized to order the street, sidewalks or any portions thereof to be immediately closed and those portions shall not thereafter be used without subsequent written permission of the Chief of Police.

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