EDGEWATER — Restaurant and cafe owners on the Far North Side have been busy snatching up sidewalk cafe permits as temperatures climb, according to city records.
The city has issued 30 permits this year — which cost a minimum of $600 — for businesses in Rogers Park, West Ridge, Edgewater and Andersonville.
"The corner that we’re on has some great afternoon sunlight," said Chris Zimmerman, owner of Ellipsis Coffeehouse at 1259 W. Devon Ave., who so far is the only establishment on the street to get a permit. "For us, it’s an expansion of seating for the season."
In Rogers Park, Jarvis Square is a hot spot for sidewalk cafes this year, with R Public House and Towbar both being issued permits as of Tuesday morning.
The only permit issued in West Rogers Park went to Starbucks at Western Avenue and Howard Street.
Metropolis Coffee, Pete's Pizza and Ann Sather on Granville Avenue were issued permits as well. On North Broadway, Patio Beef, Broadway Cellars and Mas Alla Del Sol are permit holders.
Andersonville's Andie's, Reza's and Hamburger Mary's also have permits.
As of Tuesday, the city had issued more than 600 permits citywide, according to data.
Mika Stambaugh, spokesman for the city's Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, said sidewalk cafes were becoming more popular among business owners.
The city issued 18 percent more permits in 2013 than in 2010, she said.
Zimmerman, of Ellipsis, was dismantling his assortment of chairs and tables on the sidewalk outside the coffeehouse Tuesday.
Not many people have taken advantage of the setup quite yet, as temperatures dipped below 50 degrees in the afternoon, he said.
But "we're on the brink of it," he said with certainty.
Sidewalk cafes are permitted in the city from March 1 through Dec. 1.