SOUTH ELGIN, Ill. (WLS) — Indoor dining and bar service is still banned in Kane County according to state COVID-19 mitigation rules, but some people will be ringing in the new year inside a South Elgin pub.

Stanley’s Restaurant and Ale House is defying state orders, offering food, drink, karaoke and trivia – all inside – while trying to enforce its own COVID-19 rules.

“We have 8,000 square feet here, so even a lot of people, it’s still spread thin,” owner Scott Stanley said. “And the staff and the bar staff will be keeping a close eye on that.”

“I walk past people with a mask and they have a mask on,” indoor diner Liam S. said. “It’s as safe as can be.”

The owners said they have been open for business inside without any citation from the county or the state for the last 10 weeks.

“We’re not trying to make a statement, we’re just trying to make a living,” Stanley said.

Stanley said that based off the night before Thanksgiving, he does not expect a large crowd for New Year’s Eve.

“December has already been the deadliest month on record. We all need to work together to prevent overwhelming our hospital systems and contributing to even more deaths across our state,” Governor JB Pritzker’s press secretary said in a statement Thursday.

Kane County Health Department officials have not responded to questions about possible punishments for businesses defying state mitigation rules.

In Chicago, officials stressed that bars and restaurants will be closely watched to ensure they are not violating mitigation rules, which could result in a $10,000 fine.

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