Fran Spielman | Chicago Sun-Times | July 24 2018

Mayor Rahm Emanuel will move Wednesday to implement his innovative plan to allow aspiring chefs and new retailers to test their concepts in vacant restaurants and storefronts.

Pop-up permitting was just one of a host of mayoral reforms unveiled last spring to further improve a small business climate that had already benefited from the consolidation of business licenses.

Now that the City Council has approved year-round sidewalk cafes, Emanuel is moving to implement the plan that will allow aspiring chefs and retailers to get started at minimal cost and hassle.

At Wednesday’s Council meeting, Emanuel will introduce an ordinance that will allow restaurants and retailers now required to purchase a two-year license to, instead, choose a license as short as five days.

City Hall will also offer pop-up licenses for 30, 90, 180 or 365 days.

The price will be a bargain, compared to the cost of a two-year license. No on-site inspection will be required.

The user license won’t even be tied to a location. That means the license holder can “roam” during the length of the license and operate all around the city.

Illinois Restaurant Association President Sam Toia has said he’s all for the pop-up concept and the flexibility it provides in a city that has come to be known as a foodie haven.