I should trust you readers more.
I got the email below from a reader on Tuesday but didn’t write about it then because I had no further confirmation. Turns out it’s true, based on further accounts and a new Block Club article. Here’s the email:
I just took a trip that landed at Chicago Midway’s airport. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I walked down Terminal B and noticed there were two full bars, with 70 people sitting at them, drinking and eating, inside, no masks, right in the aisle way everyone has to walk down.
Chicago is closed to indoor dining and indoor bars, apparently unless it’s on city-owned property that needs the rent, Midway has bars all over the place that have no seating restrictions, no social distancing and are operating indoors.
Contrast this to the poor businesses going under all across the city, with outdoor service or takeout service only.
This is a travesty, if they are serious about bars being a center of Coronavirus, why are they leaving bars open in one of the busiest places in all of the city?
And how can citywide rules only apply to businesses that aren’t feeding money to the city? How in the world can the city justify killing businesses, just not their own businesses?
Anyway, I hope you cover this, it is so very unfair.
Now, why would the City of Chicago, which controls this, allow that?
Money, no doubt. As part of the franchise for food and beverages at Midway and O’Hare providers pay to the city what I’m told comes to about 38% of their gross revenue (though I have not confirmed that exact number).
And politics. The franchise process for the airports is notoriously political.
It’s just more of the same: Hammer the private sector but let municipal revenue sources like marijuana shops and liquor stores carry on, while public employees get full pay and pension accruals.
The Block Club story focuses on medical people saying that open bars and restaurants at airports are dangerous. Come on. The patrons all are going on aircraft with far more confined space.