The Wrigleyville bar is considered a vax-only bar, meaning to get in you have to show physical proof you have gotten the vaccine, such as your vaccination card or a picture of your vax card – and your identification. If you do not have proof, you are turned away at the door.
So far, the move is paying off.
Employees at Nisei Lounge at Sheffield and Newport say Memorial Day weekend was packed. They announced the decision to allow only vaccinated patrons on Friday and since then, they have been near full capacity.
Bartender Miranda Isbell says the owners made the move so they could reopen to 100-percent capacity. She says it is a huge relief knowing that all her co-workers and now patrons are fully vaccinated.
"Just keeping everybody that's around you comfortable and being able to walk around without a mask on is the dream of 2021," said Isbell. "So, being able to allow that inside of our establishment and but also make our business, which is very small and very old, make a lot of money is huge for us."
She hopes this is an incentive for people to get vaccinated and hopes other bars decide to follow their path.
"It feels really good to talk to people and be relaxed and feel a little more comfortable," said patron Beth Morrissey.