Argyle Street In Uptown Joins City Efforts To Get Back To Business With Street Food And Festivities; Business owners have hope – CBS Chicago
CHICAGO (CBS) – Strategies have been renewed in Chicago to revive restaurants and bring back pandemic-stricken businesses – but will it work?
As CBS 2’s Jermont Terry reported, Uptown is the latest to join a list of 16 communities to roll out permanent alfresco dining and community living. As the sun set over Argyle Street and a red ribbon was cut, Argyle Street west of Sheridan Road became the hub of the North Side business district.
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The Argyle Street outdoor event involves not only al fresco dining, but also entertainment, festivities and even street dancing to Michael Jackson’s â€œDon’t Stop ‘Tim You Get Enoughâ€.
Uptown now joins communities such as Chatham, South Chicago, Little Village and Humboldt Park in the city’s Chicago Alfresco program, according to Rod Fojtik of Choose Chicago.
Chicago Department of Transportation commissioner Gia Biagi said the effort is focused on economic development and business revival.
“It’s a way of saying, you know what?” We are going to make it a long term investment, â€said Biagi. â€œWe’re going to double down across town and make sure communities reflect what they need and want.â€
Over $ 2 million in private funds has been provided to help restaurants and businesses thrive again by getting people to walk the streets. They walked directly into La Patisserie, 1050-52 W. Argyle St.
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â€œI was walking down the street and saw the magic words – ‘bakery’,â€ said one customer.
The family-owned bakery has been operating in Uptown since 1982. Owner Pete Yuen thinks the town’s effort is good business.
â€œIf they can get a seat that’s a plus,â€ Yuen said.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Yuen has continued to knead the dough every morning to keep the candy in stock. But he would also like to see more green dough rolling.
â€œIt’s an advantage to have people gathering in front of the store, which makes it welcoming,â€ he said.
Uptown was chosen because it is a diverse community. But there is another reason – the Argyle Street commercial strip in Uptown has no curbs. It was redesigned this way in 2016, making it ideal for outdoor street dining.
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Chicago Alfresco is expected to last up to three years.