Belleville closes city streets to allow for patio space for downtown restaurants


BELLEVILLE, Ill. – Illinois enters into Phase 3 of its reopening plan Friday. With recovery plans in place statewide, city leaders in Belleville met Thursday afternoon with their own plan to help out small businesses.

The streets are closing in downtown Belleville so business doors can reopen.

“Definitely a homecoming, coming back,” says Bennie Parr, owner of Bennie’s Pizza Pub.

Customers will come back with the help of the city.

“The city’s been great to us,” says Mark Onstott, owner of Tavern on Main. “They provided all of this for us.”

This afternoon, the Belleville City Council held a special meeting to take steps to help these businesses. They approved closing half blocks of N. Church, S. Jackson, and S. High starting Friday.

“We are working with people,” says Mayor Mark Eckert. “We want them to be successful. We want them to live through these terrible two-and-a-half months.”

For each street closure, two businesses will share the block, using the new patio to space out customers.

Mayor Eckert says they want to do this in the safest way possible. The last thing they want is a resurgence of COVID-19 or to take a major step backwards.

Streets should close early Friday, with business patios opening up by lunchtime.

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