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'I Think We Did The Best Job That We Could,' Gov. Pritzker Says Of COVID-19 Restrictions Under Which Many Bars, Restaurants Went Out Of Business Last Year

CHICAGO (CBS) -- At this time a year ago, many restaurants, bars, and stores were going out of business – unable to handle the State of Illinois' lockdown measures as the coronavirus pandemic raged.

Gov. JB Pritzker was the one who ordered the business closures. CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov sat down with him Tuesday and asked him about the decision.

"I think we did the best job that we could. To the extent that people want to criticize, that's up to them. I'm sure that if I knew everything then that I know now, I might have made a few different decisions," Pritzker said. "But the truth is that the vast majority of things that we did were really the right things to keep people healthy and safe."

Many businesses did end up closing as a consequence of the pandemic – among them Lawry's The Prime Rib on Ontario Street; Danny's Tavern in Bucktown; Blackbird Restaurant on Randolph Street; Twisted Tapas in Rogers Park; and the Mercury Theater, Southport Lanes bowling alley, and Schoolyard Tavern on Southport Avenue.

But many businesses survived – with delivery and curbside pickup and later outdoor dining for restaurants.

And one business, Guthrie's Tavern in Wrigleyville, closed, but is set to reopen under a new owner.


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