Illinois restaurants to keep some COVID changes even after state reopens

Illinois is just days away from fully reopening and as it turns out, some things will not be changing as we emerge from the pandemic.

Some in the restaurant industry are guessing that diners are still going to want some space while eating. So, Fiammé in Naperville is keeping their outdoor dining.

In fact, they are expanding it. What was once enclosed heated greenhouses has now become wooden cabanas.


When COVID-19 hit, the beloved pizza restaurant in downtown Naperville needed to adapt and like many other businesses, they took social distancing customers outside in the winter. They added several greenhouses, ran electric, provided heat, and added decor.

Well, that change was so popular that now Fiammé has built cabanas across their entire parking lot. The general manager says they will keep them up even next winter.

"We built this modularly so that we can break down the wall and attach finish insulating. Run electric and we will have outdoor dining space, so regardless of where COVID is at come let’s say November, we are going to do what we did last year again," said GM Preston Gaspar.

He says because of the outdoor winter seating, they actually saw growth during the pandemic and that is why they decided to do expand their outdoor cabanas and add 200 seats.