The Chicago Tribune reports that legislation signed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich allows the city to make legal what waiters from Lincoln Park to the West Loop have allowed with a wink and a nod. A proposed ordinance to allow dogs to accompany their owners while dining is expected to be reviewed by an aldermanic committee this month.
Chicago Ald. Eugene Schulter (47th), a co-sponsor, was quoted as saying Friday, "We’re a world-class city and people have been doing this for a long time, so why not allow them to do this in a regulated way so it’s safe and clean?".
The proposed ordinance would prohibit dogs from sitting on a seat, table or countertop; forbid employees from handling the dogs; mandate cleaning up all spilled food among customers; and provide disposable towels and liquid hand sanitizer at every table that permits dogs.
The state law signed Friday states that no pet dog can be inside any restaurant or in any area where food is prepared. Also, a restaurant will have the right to refuse to serve a dog’s owner who fails to "exercise reasonable control" over his four-legged friend and a restaurant can refuse service if a dog threatens the health or safety of anyone at the eatery.
The proposal sounds reasonable and is similar to what has been implemented in Florida and what we’ve advocated.