Tavern on Lincoln temporarily closes following COVID-19 restrictions

By Kierra Frazier

DeKALB — Tavern on Lincoln has temporarily closed following Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s recent restrictions that started Saturday. The restrictions put in place include shutting down indoor dining to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“Tavern on Lincoln is dedicated to protecting the safety of our customers and employees,” a Wednesday Tavern on Lincoln Facebook post reads. “We will be following the governor’s orders and will be closing Tavern on Lincoln until further notice from government officials are issued.” 

John Pappas, one of the owners of Tavern on Lincoln, said the restaurant is temporarily closing until they get better direction from the state on how they can operate with the new restrictions. 

“Opening and closing our restaurant, it’s not just shutting off the water,” Pappas said. “We have to retrain staff, we have to keep staff on payroll while we’re closed and we have food to deal with.” 

Tavern on Lincoln, 106 E. Lincoln Highway, closed once already during the pandemic. Pappas said when they reopened, business returned to normal. Now, they’re faced with the decision to shut down again.

“We got shut down again, and there’s not really any guarantees when we’re gonna reopen,” Pappas said. “Even when we do reopen, what happens? Are we going to close a month later, two months later, [there are] too many uncertainties out there for us to keep opening and closing.” 

The Illinois Department of Public Health will track the positivity rate in Region one to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required or if current mitigations should remain in place, according to a Sept. 29 news release

If the positivity rate averages less than or equal to 6.5% for three consecutive days, then Region one will return to phase four mitigations under the Restore Illinois Plan, according to the release.