Chicago Riverwalk reopens to residents, visitors

The Chicago Riverwalk will once again be opened to residents and visitors starting Friday.

Mayor Lightfoot said the city will begin a phased-in approach, allowing for full service by the end of May. 

Face coverings and social distancing will be required by all vendors on the Riverwalk.

"The Riverwalk is not only an important part of our city's economic engine, but it also adds to the liveliness of our iconic summers," said Mayor Lightfoot. "That's why I am especially thrilled to announce its concessions program is reopening earlier than any other previous season."


Vendors in the concession program will start operating in phases with Island Party Hut, Beat Kitchen on the River and City Winery reopening on April 9, the city said.

In the following weeks, the vendors listed below will reopen on a weekly/bi-weekly basis: 

  • Northman Beer & Cider Garden 
  • Chicago Brewhouse  
  • Tiny Tapp & Café  
  • Mercury Cruise lines & Chicago’s First Lady Cruises 
  • Downtown Docks 
  • Chicago Electric Boats  
  • Chicago Cycleboats 
  • Sweet Home Gelato 
  • O’Brien’s Riverwalk Café  
  • Urban Kayaks 

Pier 31 on the Riverwalk will begin operations for the first time this May.

To view the full reopening schedule and list of participating vendors, please visit

"The Riverwalk is one of the largest public spaces maintained by the Department of Assets, Information and Services, and we are thrilled today to announce the concessions program reopening for the summer and welcome back our concessionaires, including a new vendor, Pier 31 on the Riverwalk," said David Reynolds, Commissioner of AIS. "City trades including, electricians, plumbers, laborers, carpenters have been on site prepping the Riverwalk for the busy season ahead." 

The city is also encouraging guests to visit the Community Marketplace, which will also be reopening this May.

Building on the Riverwalk’s successful concession program, the Community Marketplace was constructed in 2019 to expand the program to minority- and women-owned businesses representing the cultural diversity of Chicago’s neighborhoods, the city said.

Following CDC guidelines, patrons on the Riverwalk must be six feet apart, groups will be limited to 10 people, patrons must remain seated, face coverings are required except for when actively eating or drinking and employees must wear face coverings at all times.

Reservations are not required, but strongly recommend because of the limited seating.