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Encourage the opening of sidewalk cafes

Antioch, IL
Encourage the opening of sidewalk cafes

Restaurants, coffee shops, and bars that provide sidewalk cafe seating improve the vibrancy of a street. The sense of place that they create attracts people that are more likely to spend time and money at that location as well as nearby businesses.

Businesses that would like to add and operate sidewalk seating should follow guidelines that make them safe for their patrons as well as others that are using the public right-of-way. These guidelines would help them make design decisions that make the space visually appealing and function in a way that enhances their business operations while not obstructing other activities along the street.

View the following links to see how the new zoning ordinance (DRAFT) addresses outdoor dining:

Permitted Uses >>
Locations >>
Requirements >>

This ordinance seems to only exist to be able to stop businesses from displaying their wares in front of their stores. As someone who grew up in Antioch working in a family business, and someone who now spends time in both Antioch and Milwaukee, I can only see how badly this will affect Antioch businesses. In Milwaukee, stores frequently display items outside of their stores, drawing business to their store and attracting people to stop and get out of their cars. I always joke with my mom that the only plants I own I bought because the True Value has a bunch of plants, pots, and other goods out in front of their store, and I can't resist a sale.

If the intention is to ensure ADA accessibility of a sidewalk, I would totally advocate ensuring that businesses leave enough sidewalk space for safe and equitable paasage for all. But, knowing how Antioch politics work, I'm sure this has something to do with someone who doesn't like what one of the stores in town has out on display, and this is a direct attempt to stop them. If Antioch is to be competitive and have an active downtown that has businesses useful to the community instead of empty storefronts, we should actively invest in our small businesses, not stifle an attempt to bring in business.

Michael Garrigan Antioch, IL


Thank you for your input and constructive advise you have provided. The input of the residents will have an impact on how this final documents is drafted.

Having a presence outside is a great way to entice people to stay, to shop, to support our small town. It makes passerbys want to check it out and be apart of the action. Of course there needs to regulations and safety for all, but this is what a small town is and what it needs to compete with all the options people have!

Michael Garrigan Antioch, IL


Thank you for the comment. I agree that outside displays can help activate the street and create interest if the displays are attractive.

Jeanne Kelly Antioch, IL

I think this would be a good idea to get customers into stores, and a good way for the community get to know each other

Kimberly Hellen Antioch, IL

Outdoor cafes, art, boutiques, music, antiques, wineries, and breweries attract locals, entrepreneurs, and potential residents. When people drive through a vital Main Street They like to get out and stop for lunch and check out the rest of town and then tell their friends about it. Its also great place for adult friends to gather as well as families. Take a good look at Wauconda., they have revitalized their Main Street. Antioch could be that or better.

Paul Johnson Antioch, IL

This is a necessary improvement. Why wouldn't we want this?

Love eating outside and enjoying the weather. We tend to over regulate this type of thing and I support this.