CHICAGO (CBS) — The city is investigating following a widely-circulated video at an Old Town restaurant.
In it, they’re partying like it’s 1999. But it’s 2021, and that’s a potential health problem.
As CBS 2’s Jeremy Ross reported, Lan’s Old Town, 1507 N. Sedgwick St., will temporarily close – admitting it was in the wrong. The restaurant is also working with the city during the investigation.
Outside, Lan’s Old Town has the charm of a small bistro.
But inside, the potential harm of a large gathering was captured on social media. At a party last weekend, the booze was flowing while Chicago COVID-19 cases are growing.
“I don’t blame anyone for going to parties, but right now, it’s a bad time to do it,” said Patrick Feeny, who saw the video. “This is how it passes.”
Asked how much social distancing she saw, Brittney Lingle, owner of Pink Beard Hair Studio next door, said “I don’t think there was any.” She also said she saw just one mask around someone’s neck.
“You wouldn’t be able to enter our front door without one,” Lingle said.
The website for Lan’s Old Town describes it as your typical Chinese takeout spot on weekdays, and wild BYOB party nights on the weekends.
“It’s certainly not fun for us coming into work Saturday morning trying to step over the party remnants afterwards,” Lingle said.
“People are dying here, man,” Feeny said.
Lingle said despite city restrictions for COVID-19, the weekend parties haven’t stopped – and we found a history of them.
We found a YouTube video posted eight years ago that showed a pre-pandemic party with shirts optional and lots of liquor.
But the city is now looking into current celebrations in the COVID era.
“What you guys need to look into is why there’s not consequences already,” Feeny said. “And if people will keep doing it, lock them up.”
He said he would tell the owner, “Stop doing it, or face the consequences.”
On Tuesday night, the business issued a statement reading in part: “We should not have hosted the party, the decision was made out of desperation. COVID-19 has ravaged restaurants… many are unable to survive. It was wrong to resort to these desperate actions.”
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