Sticky situation: Lakeview alderman’s restaurant offers secret indoor dining service, report says

Lakeview Alderman Tom Tunney (44th)

Update: The Sun-Times spoke with Ald. Tunney this morning and he confirmed that he has been serving some customers. He hung up on a reporter who repeatedly asked how many customers he served, the paper reported.

Lakeview Alderman Tom Tunney (44th) has been offering indoor dining at his flagship Ann Sather restaurant even though the state banned indoor service at restaurants weeks ago, according to a report published early Monday.

The full story, which includes photographs, is available at Second City Cop.

Helpfully, the photographer included a copy of last Thursday’s Wall Street Journal in a picture of the dining area to establish a timeframe for their clandestine breakfast in an event room at Tunney’s restaurant, 909 West Belmont.

Anyone who has walked past Tunney’s restaurant since Gov. JB Pritzker banned indoor food service November 4 would likely conclude that it is not serving food and may be closed entirely. CWBChicago writers wander that stretch of Belmont daily. Tables and chairs have been stacked in the restaurant’s front windows since Pritzker ordered indoor dining halted as COVID cases rose.

According to photos accompanying the report, “private event” breakfast is served in this area at the back of Ann Sather’s Belmont location. | Google

But the covert breakfast at Tunney’s restaurant is served at the back of the restaurant space, away from the street, according to Second City Cop. The report said a restaurant worker claimed the secret indoor service is legit because it’s framed as a “private party.”

Pritzker’s order, though, prohibits the use of meeting rooms, private party rooms, banquet centers, and similar operations, according to Block Club Chicago.

Large curtains can be drawn to block the “private party” area from street view. It is not clear if the privacy drapes are pulled during “private party” breakfasts.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com