Wrigleyville Gets Ready For Phase 5

CBS 2's Brandon Merano reports while Wrigleyville businesses are excited about seeing more people around, many are looking for help as bars and restaurants reopen.

Video Transcript

BRAD EDWARDS: We are now only hours away from reopening Chicago and the state. Phase five officially kicking in tomorrow. That means no limits anywhere.

IRIKA SARGENT: We have live team coverage of the return to normal but not for everyone. We begin with CBS 2's Brandon Merano. He's live in Wrigleyville, where they are gearing up for a huge day tomorrow. Brandon.

BRANDON MERANO: Yeah, Irika. It's calm on Clark Street right now, but that's not going to be the case tomorrow. A sea of red and blue will not only flood the streets, it'll flood the stadium as well as thousands of people come to watch the Cubs take on the Cardinals. Now, business owners and servers that I talked to today said the timing could not be better for things to return back to normal. It's an unofficial holiday for Chicago.

JOE SCROGGS: It seems like everybody's gearing up for it to be something like that. We're certainly excited about it and gearing up for it too.

BRANDON MERANO: As Illinois plans to fully reopen Friday, more than 41,000 fans will flock to Wrigley to watch the Cubs take on the Cardinals.

JOE SCROGGS: It looks like it's going to be just a great, fun weekend. Weather's great. There's going to be a lot of people. It's going to feel like the old world, I guess.

BRANDON MERANO: But for many businesses like Roost, the road back to normal has been rough.

JOE SCROGGS: For this street, they're no Cubs, nothing really going on, no people out here having a good. It's been slow.

BRANDON MERANO: And as businesses pick up the pace and try to hire more workers, one common problem plagues bars and restaurants from Clark Street, throughout Chicago, and across the country, finding help.

JOE SCROGGS: People are hesitant to go back to work yet. Now, you hear people talking about-- and I don't know if this is true or not-- sitting on their long-term unemployment.

BRANDON MERANO: Joe Scroggs says even then, the business he started and many like it may have to adapt.

JOE SCROGGS: And I think that the restaurant industry is going to face a reckoning in the next year about how people get paid.

BRANDON MERANO: Some Clark Street cornerstones are already upping the ante, increasing salaries and offering extra incentives.

SEAN BROWN: Right now, we are definitely hiring busboys, servers, anyone to really just help out, especially this weekend.

BRANDON MERANO: And as Wrigley gets set to host its biggest crowd in a year and a half, Scroggs and his staff are preparing for a return to normal, even if it looks different.

JOE SCROGGS: Restaurants are going to really have to rethink their labor strategy moving forward.

BRANDON MERANO: Now, even though tomorrow marks day one of phase five or the state fully reopening, not all restrictions have been lifted. You're still asked to wear a mask inside if you're not vaccinated and practice social distancing. We're live in Wrigleyville, Brandon Merano, CBS 2 News.