New York, NY – October 15, 2020 – Outdoor dining has become a lifeline for restaurants this year. With cold weather rolling in faster in Chicago than any other city, the West Central Association has teamed up with the Illinois Restaurant Association in partnership with Stella Artois to provide an innovative outdoor dining solution to Chicago restaurants allowing customers to dine together, safely apart.
Stella Artois is famous for encouraging people to savor time with the people who matter most, quite often over delicious food and drinks at restaurants and bars across the country. Throughout the pandemic, Stella supported the struggling restaurant and bar community and the partnership with the Illinois Restaurant Association, West Central Association and the City of Chicago for Dining Together, Apart is the latest way the brand is helping.
As the restaurant and bar community adapts to today’s new normal, Dine Together, Apart invites Chicagoans to dine alfresco together comfortably and safely well into colder months with domes and greenhouse-like pods spanning a popular dining neighborhood and five restaurants.
Starting October 16, the enclosed dining pods will be sweeping one of Chicago’s most popular dining destinations, Fulton Market District with well-known restaurants such as The Publican, Duck, Duck Goat, Beatrix, Kuma’s Corner, and Gus’s Fried Chicken.
“The heart and soul of Stella Artois is savoring life with loved ones over food in restaurants, and this year, that community has faced so many challenges,” said Lara Krug, VP of Marketing. “Outdoor dining has given restaurants the slightest reprieve, while also becoming a special place for people to enjoy time together safely apart, which is why we’re uniting with the West Central Association and the Illinois Restaurant Association efforts to extend this offering for as long as possible.”
In Chicago’s Fulton Market, the pods will surround a chalk street mural designed by famed artist Shepard Fairey’s Studio Number One to bring an artful approach to social distancing and collective-yet-safe dining. Originally commissioned by Stella Artois to encourage social distancing in East London, the 3,840 sq ft mural will be reimagined in Chicago-based artists.
“The West Central Association is thrilled to be bringing this outdoor dining experience to life with the help of the Illinois Restaurant Association and Stella Artois. Even while the temperature drops, the enclosed dining pods will allow Chicagoans to enjoy and savor their meals with those that matter the most,” said Roderick Burch, Executive Director of the West Central Association. “This is a way for us to connect loved ones together safely in our beloved city.”
Following the launch weekend, October 16 through 18, the West Central Association will continue to allocate Chicago restaurants the dining pods to safely serve diners further into cold weather months.
“We’re very excited to see the winterized outdoor dining experience come to life in the heart of one of Chicago’s most celebrated dining destinations,” said Sam Toia, President and CEO, Illinois Restaurant Association. “The West Central Association and Stella Artois program is an innovative step towards keeping Chicago restaurants afloat during these challenging times. With applications opening Monday, October 19, we are also grateful to Stella Artois for their timely contribution to the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (IRAEF) Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. This donation will provide direct, critical relief to industry workers facing financial crisis as a result of COVID-19.”
To further help restaurants nationwide, a portion of proceeds from all Stella Artois purchased on premise will go to the James Beard Foundation to support industry relief efforts across the U.S. during these challenging times.
“We’re excited to have the West Central Association and Illinois Restaurant Association in partnership with Stella Artois help our restaurants with this innovative project,” said Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “The continuation of socially distanced and safe outdoor dining – through our remarkably successful Expanded Outdoor Dining program and structures like these dining pods – helps bring a little bit of joy and normalcy to all of us while we face these extraordinary times together. I look forward to Stella’s continued support of outdoor dining structures as we expand projects like these in other Chicago neighborhoods.”
For more information, follow @StellaArtoisUSA #TogetherApart on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
*Previous version of this press release misquoted the Mayor and listed incorrect restaurants
About Stella Artois
Stella Artois® is part of a Belgian brewing tradition dating back to 1366. It is the No. 1 Belgian beer in the world and is present in 95 countries. Stella Artois is a bottom filtered, blonde pilsner. It is thirst quenching with a malty middle and crisp finish delivering a full flavor and a hint of bitterness. Stella Artois is best enjoyed served between 37.4- and 41-degree Fahrenheit and should be served in the unique Stella Artois Chalice according to the 9-Step Pouring Ritual to guarantee a perfect experience of this gold standard lager. Visit www.stellaartois.com for more information.
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