There’s plenty of places to eat outdoors in downtown Arlington Heights. But if you want to eat indoors, at least one restaurant says you’ll have to prove that you’ve been vaccinated.
"It’s a really hard decision for us and we didn’t take it lightly," said Chip Brooks, one of the owners of Hey Nonny, a popular restaurant and music club that has a stage for live performances.
Starting next Tuesday, everyone eating or drinking indoors has to show proof that they’ve been vaccinated.
"A photo of a card, a card," explained Brooks. "There are a number of services you can do to present proof of vaccination. Any of those are going to be fine with us."
People eating outdoors will not have to show proof of vaccination but will have to wear a mask when they go inside.
Brooks says he’s following the lead of a number of music venues and restaurants in the city and suburbs that are checking vaccine status. And he says it’s the best way for people to enjoy a meal and a show without worrying about becoming infected.
"We’re obviously not trying to make a political statement," said Brooks. "We’re just trying to do the best we can to do the right thing for our patrons, knowing that not everyone is going to agree."
Indeed the announcement has sparked controversy, with people applauding the decision and others saying their vaccine status is nobody’s business.
Brooks says the policy will be in place for at least the next couple months. He admits it’s not ideal, but said they can’t take the risk of the pandemic spreading and being forced to shut down again.