CHICAGO - The popular Schubas Tavern in Lakeview officially reopened for business on Wednesday after a long, pandemic-driven closure.
The bar officially reopened for the first time since October of 2020, but customers have to wait until Thursday to hear live music again.
FOX 32's Brittany Garzillo was there as customers anxiously made their way back.
When the doors opened at 5 p.m., regulars Mike and Crystal Hubert and their little girl were among the first seated in months.
"We've just been waiting for it to open, you know, all the people that have been going through the hard time – the bartenders, the servers – just so excited we got that news," said Mike.
On Wednesday, the bar area opened at full capacity. Those vaccinated do not have to wears masks.
For the Huberts, this sign of pre-pandemic life was worthy of a toast.
"It feels very much like a return to normal," said customer Mike Jank.
Schubas Tavern co-owner Adam Thurston agrees.
"Schubas is, you know, a piece of Chicago history," he said.
Thursday night will mark the first time live performers will light up the stage in the popular music room since March of 2020.
"We'll be right back operating like we never closed," said Thurston.
The room, which has hosted the likes of Kings of Leon and Dave Matthews Band, will operate at full capacity – which means 200 people could fill the space.
Jank will be one of them.
"I think I'm just looking forward to kind of like coalescing with the neighborhood once again and getting to just see the experience live, it's gonna be really exciting," he said.
Bruce and Trish Turner have been coming to Schubas for about 30 years. They've seen about 100 shows and they're ready to add more to that list.
"It's safe, it's clean, the food is delicious," said Trish. "It's a neighborhood classic and we gotta support it."
For now, performances will only take place three nights a week – Thursday through Saturday.
Thurston hopes to be back up to every night of the week in the fall.
Thursday's live show starts at 7:30 p.m. and will feature bands Marina City and Fox Royale.