'Power of freedom': Restaurant defying Governor's order to stop indoor dining sees uptick in business

"The weekend was overwhelming. It was really fantastic."
Ki's Steak and Seafood Restaurant in Glendale Heights
Ki's Steak and Seafood Restaurant in Glendale Heights Photo credit WBBM Newsradio

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- One of the restaurant owners who defied Governor Pritzker’s order to stop dine-in service because of higher COVID numbers in DuPage County said business couldn’t have been better over the weekend.

"The weekend was overwhelming. It was really fantastic," said Spiro Roumpas, owner of Ki's Steak and Seafood Restaurant in Glendale Heights.

He said business was triple, and in some cases four times, what it’s been on previous weekends this month.

Roumpas said most of his weekend customers were first-timers to Ki’s.

"At least 75 percent, probably a greater number, and they made a point to come out and find me, find whoever, the staff and just say ‘thank you’ and just say, ‘We’re coming here to support you,'" he said.

Roumpas said he had people drive in from Gurnee, Rockford, southern Illinois, and Indiana. He said the response "showed the power of freedom."

"It really made us feel we were doing the right thing," Roumpas said.

The restaurateur said all CDC protocols continued to be observed, including keeping a reduced amount of tables, spacing tables six feet apart, and requiring people to wear masks when they weren’t eating or drinking. He said the reduced number of tables caused longer wait times but that people were in "good spirits."

Roumpas said he talked to a couple of other restaurant owners who are still providing dine-in service in defiance of the governor and that they reported an uptick in business, as well.