Cloud kitchens take bite of local restaurant business

Restaurant food isn't always cooked in restaurants. Chicago allows pop-up restaurants in vacant stores, and now delivery-only "ghost kitchens" are popping up in warehouse and factory spaces–no diners allowed.

Delivery services like DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats make these commercial kitchens possible, Fifty/50 Restaurant Group co-owner Scott Weiner told a joint meeting of the East Village Association and Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association,

Fifty/50 runs online pizza and cakeball businesses from its restaurants, but Weiner says national chains like Applebee's and Chick-fil-A contract with commercial kitchens to fill online orders.

Chicago clears way for business reopenings, bus lane, library repairs

1st Ward Ald. Daniel La Spata answers questions on Zoom.

Chicago's eased COVID-19 restrictions this month do not sacrifice public health, insists Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st Ward).

"There was actual data behind them," including a drop in COVID-19 cases, La Spata told EVA members Oct. 5 via Zoom. City inspections quickly brought a few businesses into compliance with early reopening guidelines. Residents need to do their part to stay safe, but mask wearing is not targeted for enforcement.

Housing relief grants open Aug. 10

Renters and homeowners can apply for relief set aside in this spring's emergency Illinois legislative session. State Rep. Delia Ramirez gave the outlines of the program at the East Village Association's Aug. 3 online meeting.

Staring Aug. 10, renters can apply for up to $5,000 in rent assistance to cover COVID-19 related hardships, drawn from $396 million in federal coronavirus relief funds. Five local organizations are administering the $150 million available on a first-come, first-served basis, Ramirez said. On Aug. 24, the mortgage relief program opens with $150 million set aside, up to $15,000 per household. Ramirez will offer details in online information sessions Aug. 11-13; her office is open by appointment.

EVA Monday on Zoom: Rep. Ramirez, dining on Winchester

Monday's meeting previews the opening of Kasama restaurant, 1001 N. Winchester Ave. with owners Tim Flores and Genie Kwon. State Rep. Delia Ramirez reports on the legislative session in Springfield. The Chicago Reader recently featured her efforts to aid renters. Join us at 7pm Aug. 3 on Zoom.

Arts for Illinois Relief Fund


The Arts for Illinois Relief Fund supports the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art and other local arts groups and artists. Chicago thanks EVA for its $1,000 donation to support local artists in the COVID-19 crisis.

West Town restaurant sets table for outdoor dining

As Chicago began considering street closings for restaurant patio seating, Roots Handmade Pizza asked EVA to support its application to close from Winchester Avenue from Chicago Avenue north to the alley.

Members in the June 1 meeting on Zoom had questions about days and hours of operation, emergency vehicle access, table setup and takedown, supplier dropoffs and delivery driver pickups. They were generally supportive of discussing a limited trial.

With looting in West Town stores the weekend after the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Ukrainian Village Neighborhood Association vice president Grant Chamberlain suggested staging a neighborhood cleanup once disturbances end.

The scheduled speaker, state Rep. Delia Ramirez, did not attend the meeting. EVA will not meet in July.