• Oct 6, 2020, 00:00 AM

Temporary COVID-19 Outdoor Dining Guidelines - Revised October 6, 2020

New for Fall/Winter:

  1. Outdoor dining areas may continue to operate during the cold season
  2. Structures that are more than 50% enclosed or are heated require a Village of Gurnee Temporary Building Permit
  3. Permit will be valid until May 1; no fee required
  4. Structures and Devices must be shown on permit plans with manufacturers’ specifications
  5. Structures:
    1. must have adequate ventilation
    2. materials must have fire-retardant certification
    3. must be weighted, anchored, secured to the ground
    4. must withstand wind and snow loads
    5. entrances & exits must be clearly marked; fire extinguishers on premise
    6. a single structure may not be used for cooking and dining at the same time
  6. Heating/Cooking Devices:
    1. electrical devices are permitted if UL listed or UL classified and approved for tent use
    2. all wiring must comply with ‘temporary wiring’ provisions of the National Electric Code
    3. no cords or cables across paths of ingress/egress
    4. electrical cords and cables shall be protected from damage
    5. devices must be disconnected for overnight storage
    6. clearance between devices and other objects e.g. tent sides, tables, must be maintained
    7. natural gas or propane allowed only in uncovered, open areas
  7. Outdoor fire pits may be installed, with a separate building permit, in accordance with the 2012 International Fire Code
  8. Discontinue use of structures and devices during severe weather conditions


Previously issued June 5, 2020 – still applicable


  1. The State of Illinois guidelines for indoor and outdoor dining must be followed.
  2. Social distancing shall be observed at all times.
  3. Tables must be a minimum of 6 feet between the backs of chairs.
  4. Property owner approval must be secured.
  5. The restaurant may operate under normal business hours.
  6. In order to prevent congregating, there will be a 90-minute time limit on dining per party.
  7. For current liquor licensees:
    1. Outdoor bars are not allowed.
    2. Outdoor wait stations are allowed to include liquor if staffed at all times and used exclusively by restaurant personnel; patrons may not approach these stands to order alcoholic beverages.
    3. All liquor orders must be served only to seated diners incidental to food service; liquor shall remain at tables and cannot be carried outside the designated seating area.
    4. Pursuant to strict adherence to all State of Illinois Liquor Control Commission guidelines:
      • Liquor “to go” in original containers will continue to be permitted.
      • Cocktails “to go” will be permitted.
  8. Establishments must provide trash receptacles in the seating area and will be responsible for clearing all trash from the area each night.
  9. Hand sanitizing stations must be provided in the seating area.
  10. Outdoor dining is allowed on non-public sidewalks under the following conditions:
    1. 4 feet of clearance is maintained for pedestrian access.
    2. Must be located in front of the tenant space associated with the restaurant; if it extends beyond, then written permission should be secured from the affected tenant and landlord.
  11. Outdoor dining is allowed in parking lot areas under the following conditions:
    1. The area devoted to outdoor dining shall not exceed 50% of the parking lot area.
    2. Tables should be located in parking spaces and not drive aisles whenever possible, unless an entire drive aisle and associated parking spaces can be cordoned off in a manner that preserves safe circulation on-site.
    3. Tables cannot block any fire lanes.
    4. Cones or other methods should be used to clearly delineate seating areas from parking/drive aisles.
    5. If a tent is proposed, it must be open sided and be certified flame retardant. No permit is necessary.(see revised 10/6/20 guidelines)
  12. Outdoor dining, including tents, can be accommodated in conformance with the above noted guidelines (1) without a permit and (2) until the restaurant is able to resume indoor dining as determined by the State of Illinois, so long as operations are conducted consistent with the public health, safety, and welfare.(see revised 10/6/20 guidelines)
  13. These guidelines will be updated and republished, at a minimum, at the conclusion of each phase of the Restore Illinois Plan.It is the Village’s intent at this time to allow tents to remain in use in Phase 4 subject to public safety considerations and adequate parking availability for restaurants and neighboring businesses.(see revised 10/6/20 guidelines)



For additional information or assistance:

Community Development Department, Building & Engineering


Gurnee Residents

Find out customized information for Gurnee current and prospective residents in our "Residents" sections. Information in these sections includes services such as Snow Plowing, Water/Sewer, Permitting and Public Safety.

Learn More

Water / Sewer Account Services

Need to pay a water bill or change your account information? 

Learn More


Gurnee Businesses

Gurnee has over 1,000 registered businesses and corporations, making it a leading retail, recreation, and hospitality center in the northern Chicagoland. This section is dedicated to current and prospective Gurnee businesses looking for information on permitting, economic development, and other relevant information.

Learn More

Gurnee Visitors

Gurnee hosts millions of visitors to our community, with attractions from theme parks to shopping centers. This section features information on upcoming activities and helpful links to make your visit special.

Learn More


Looking for information about the Village of Gurnee's plans, finances, and other documents? The Village has put together a Transparency Portal in an effort to promote open, accessible, and transparent government.

Learn More

Social Media