Destination Highland Park

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Why has the City designated certain areas for expanded outdoor dining?
 Not all restaurants have the capacity or adjacent space to offer outdoor table service. To facilitate residents' enjoyment of these expanded services, the City has identified outdoor spaces in downtown Highland Park and the Ravinia District that have been designated for picnicking. These new outdoor areas are highlighted on a map , which is subject to change. Residents may bring their own lawn chairs, small tables, blankets, and other picnic gear to enjoy meals purchased from local businesses. Please be sure to observe social distancing and dispose of all trash when using these temporary outdoor dining areas.

Where are the expanded outdoor dining areas located?
The City has posted a map of these new, outdoor dining areas to its website. Residents may enjoy food purchased at local businesses in any of these spaces, provided certain guidelines are followed, and may bring their own outdoor dining accessories (chairs, picnic blankets, etc.) to enjoy meals. Spaces will be marked to setup chairs, portable tables, and other picnic items within the outdoor dining areas to provide for social distancing. Additionally, restaurant owners may apply to use outdoor dining spaces for table service. Please contact restaurants directly for information on their outdoor dining offerings.
What safety guidelines are in place for the outdoor dining or shopping areas ?
Please take care to follow these guidelines when enjoying outdoor dining or visiting your favorite local retailers:
  • Wear a face covering when entering any local business, including picking up a carryout order from a restaurant.
  • Continue to wear your face covering when walking around the city, if you cannot maintain a social distance from others.
  • Maintain a safe distance from others and avoid congregating in close quarters.
  • Enjoy alcoholic beverages only in the designated outdoor dining areas.
  • Dispose of trash before leaving the outdoor dining area or take trash with you to dispose of at home. Please do not leave trash behind!
  • Respect capacity limits inside restaurants and businesses and in outdoor dining areas; capacity limits are set by state guidance.
  • Observe all additional requirements or guidelines implemented by business owners. 
Phase 4 allows for gatherings in groups of 50 or less. Can I meet up with a group of friends and use one of the new outdoor dining areas?
While gatherings of 50 individuals or fewer are permitted in Phase 4, it's still safest to minimize contact with others outside your household. If you choose to socialize with a group, please maintain a social distance of at least 6' from others not within your household and wear a face covering. Please note that contact sports are not permitted at this time.
I am a business owner; where can I find the temporary outdoor use applications? Is there an application or permit fee?
There are no fees for the temporary outdoor use applications or permits. Visit the City's website to download the applications and view the outdoor dining area maps. Business owners will be asked to submit site plans for review, which must be consistent with public health guidance regarding safe spacing of customers. The Office of Business Development is happy to assist business owners in understanding and completing these applications and can be reached at 847.926.1027.