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Local wineries adjust to limited services amid Phase 3 plan

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(WSIL) -- Vineyards in Illinois are patiently waiting for their time to shine following the pandemic closures.

As Illinois prepares to move into Phase 3 of the Governor's "Restore Illinois" plan, local wineries are preparing for outdoor dining.

But not all of their services will be available. Local wineries like Von Jakob say they are excited to reopen.

"It's nice to see people around again. The whole wine trail is anxious to open again. Even if it's limited, it's still activity," said Von Jakob Winery and Brewery co-owner Eric Harrison.

The governor's Phase 3 plans will allow customers to dine outdoors.

"We have some grassy area over there, that they can feel free to bring their own. They can sit out here with lawn chairs, blankets," said Von Jakob Winery and Brewery co-owner Angie Harrison.

Even though reopenings are approaching, wineries like Kite Hill say don't expect wedding services any time soon.

"As far as I know, there's nothing that allows that in the phase 3 of the order, so we're not going to be booking any private events or anything like that of potential size at this point," said Kite Hill Vineyard manager Scott Albert.

"We have a couple scheduled, but until we can make sure it's safe for everyone, we won't have any," said Harrison.

Or party buses.

"We're already at our capacity for our seating and a large group comes in, unfortunately we may have to either turn them away or suggest they come back at a set time later," said Albert.

Despite the limited services, the wineries say they're glad to be back in business.

"I'm not going to say we have it better or worse than anybody, but we're pretty pleased to serve everybody outside," said Albert.

Kite Hill told News 3 customers can also set dining appointments on days they're not open.

Maya Skinner

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