Two young men sit a socially distanced two barber chairs apart as they get haircuts Friday at newly reopened C’Styles Barber Shop in Markham.

Two young men sit a socially distanced two barber chairs apart as they get haircuts Friday at newly reopened C’Styles Barber Shop in Markham.

Annie Costabile / Sun-Times

Like spring came late, as people in the suburbs get a taste of loosened COVID-19 limits

‘It’s like the door has cracked open a bit,’ John Delano, 72, said as he enjoyed a glass of iced tea at an outdoor table at Prairie Joe’s diner on Central Street in Evanston.

SHARE Like spring came late, as people in the suburbs get a taste of loosened COVID-19 limits
SHARE Like spring came late, as people in the suburbs get a taste of loosened COVID-19 limits
Though the city of Chicago is keeping the reins tight for a few more days, people came out across the suburbs on Friday to enjoy some of the things they’ve had to do without for months with the first loosening of Illinois’ stay-at-home pandemic restrictions.

Things like eating out. And shopping. And getting their hair done.

There are still restrictions, under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s plan, like limits on public gatherings to no more than 10 people, face coverings required and other strict rules.

But the initial step taken toward restoring life as we not so long ago knew it prompted plenty of smiles — if only you could see them behind all of those masks.

“It’s like the door has cracked open a bit,” John Delano, 72, said as he enjoyed a glass of iced tea at an outdoor table at Prairie Joe’s diner on Central Street in Evanston.

Here are some glimpses, shot by Sun-Times photographers, of what things looked like.

Courtney Reick, 25, serves lunch to Vasilj Stanisavljevic, 25, and his fiancé Kelly Verkoulen, 29, both from Evanston, on the patio at Flat Top Grill, 707 Church St., Evanston.

Courtney Reick, 25, serves lunch to Vasilj Stanisavljevic, 25, and his fiancé Kelly Verkoulen, 29, both from Evanston, on the patio at Flat Top Grill, 707 Church St., Evanston.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times

At Salon Antou, 808 Davis St., Evanston, shop owner and stylist Jarmen Kordou checks a customer’s temperature upon entry.

At Salon Antou, 808 Davis St., Evanston, shop owner and stylist Jarmen Kordou checks a customer’s temperature upon entry.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times

A woman waits outside of K-Stone Beauty Supply Hair and Wig store in Oak Park for a person to leave the store so she can enter.

A woman waits outside of K-Stone Beauty Supply Hair and Wig store in Oak Park for a person to leave the store so she can enter.

Tyler LaRiviere / Sun-Times

In Naperville, many restaurants expanded their sidewalk dining areas by taking and barricading a portion of the street parking area. Here, diners take advantage of the extra space outside Empire restaurant.

In Naperville, many restaurants expanded their sidewalk dining areas by taking and barricading a portion of the street parking area. Here, diners take advantage of the extra space outside Empire restaurant.

Rich Hein/ Sun-Times

At Flat Top Grill on Church Street in Evanston, general manager Juan Becerril, 35, of Chicago, dispenses hand sanitizer to customers preparing to eat lunch on the patio on the first day of Illinois’ loosened coronavirus restrictions.

At Flat Top Grill on Church Street in Evanston, general manager Juan Becerril, 35, of Chicago, dispenses hand sanitizer to customers preparing to eat lunch on the patio on the first day of Illinois’ loosened coronavirus restrictions.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times

Emily Cribbin a server at Poor Phils in Oak Park, sanitizes a table for a customer on Friday.

Emily Cribbin a server at Poor Phils in Oak Park, sanitizes a table for a customer on Friday.

Tyler LaRiviere / Sun-Times

A welcome sign at the front of Grandmaster Games in Oak Park announces that the store’s maximum capacity is four customers at a time and that they must wear masks at all times.

A welcome sign at the front of Grandmaster Games in Oak Park announces that the store’s maximum capacity is four customers at a time and that they must wear masks at all times.

Tyler LaRiviere / Sun-Times

Diners at Chuy’s Fine Tex Mex in Orland Park took advantage of the nice weather and the loosened coronavirus restrictions to enjoy a meal on the patio without masks on Friday.

Diners at Chuy’s Fine Tex Mex in Orland Park took advantage of the nice weather and the loosened coronavirus restrictions to enjoy a meal on the patio without masks on Friday.

Annie Costabile / Sun-Times

A sign indicates customers have to wear masks while shopping at the newly reopened Paper Source, 2100 Central St., Evanston.

A sign indicates customers have to wear masks while shopping at the newly reopened Paper Source, 2100 Central St., Evanston.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times

A man checks out the outdoor fruit stand that was put up at Lush Wine & Spirits Evanston, 2022 Central St.

A man checks out the outdoor fruit stand that was put up at Lush Wine & Spirits Evanston, 2022 Central St.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times

Jill Juban and Adam Jomant came from Lockport to eat outdoors Friday at one of their favorite spots — Lou Malnati’s in Naperville.

Jill Juban and Adam Jomant came from Lockport to eat outdoors Friday at one of their favorite spots — Lou Malnati’s in Naperville.

Rich Hein / Sun-Times

Becky Jackson, 37, of Evanston, organizes racks of clothing at the retail store Notice, 2112 Central St., Evanston, which opened Friday for the first time in weeks under the relaxed guidelines that require social distancing and set capacity limits.

Becky Jackson, 37, of Evanston, organizes racks of clothing at the retail store Notice, 2112 Central St., Evanston, which opened Friday for the first time in weeks under the relaxed guidelines that require social distancing and set capacity limits.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times

Dan Cawley (left), 83, and John Delano, 72, sit on the patio Friday morning at Prairie Joe’s, 1921 Central St., Evanston.

Dan Cawley (left), 83, and John Delano, 72, sit on the patio Friday morning at Prairie Joe’s, 1921 Central St., Evanston. “It’s like the door has cracked open a bit,” Delano said.

Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times

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