CHICAGO - A popular spot for burgers and drag shows since 2006, Hamburger Mary's is shutting its doors at the end of the month with hopes of reopening some time next spring.
"We've just enjoyed it, made so many memories, and I know a lot of people are going to miss Mary's and we're going to miss them too," said co-owner Ashley Wright.
The restaurant will close on November 1st. Wright said plans were in the works before the pandemic to move locations and reopen somewhere else in January, but the pandemic has pushed those plans back.
"We're hoping this is not a goodbye forever. I can't imagine Hamburger Mary's not having a location in Chicago," Wright said.
Mary's is the sixth business in Andersonville to close since the start of the pandemic. Other spots that have had to shutter on North Clark include Crossroads, Candyality and Passerotto.
"It is absolutely imperative that folks continue to support these small businesses so that we can stop the bleeding," said Joelle Scillia with the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce. Scillia urges people to do as much local--non-Amazon--shopping as possible heading into the holidays.
"Shop with intention. Celebrate with intention. Dine with intention. It's so important to make sure these businesses survive," said Scillia.
The Illinois Restaurant Association predicts 20 percent of the state's restaurants will not survive the pandemic. On Monday, it opened up applications for $500 grants for restaurant workers who have been affected by the pandemic.
"We're going after team members like busboys, dishwashers, bartenders, wait-people that have either had COVID-19, had someone in their house that caught COVID, or haven't gotten any unemployment benefits. That's who we're opening it up to, " said Sam Toia.
The application can be found here.