Charleston Restaurant Week has grown again.
The third annual city-wide event, scheduled for January 25-30, will feature 20 different restaurants offering three course meals (consisting of appetizer, entree and dessert) for $30.
Eight local establishments participated the first year. The number doubled to 16 last year.
“We didn’t expect it to happen like that,” said Kayla Young, a representative from Buzz Food Service, which sponsors and organizes the event.
Young estimated that more than 8,000 meals were sold during Restaurant Week last year, based on numbers provided to Buzz by the participating restaurants. With additional purchases, gratuity and taxes, she said the result was roughly $350,000 in economic impact for the city.
She added that they hope the number will be higher this year.
“I would love to have 10,000 meals served,” Young said.
Out of the 20 participating restaurants, seven are new to Charleston Restaurant Week. However, their names — Aladdin Restaurant, Bricks & Barrels, Dem 2 Brothers & A Grill, Fifth Quarter, Leonoro’s, Su Tei and The Block — are pretty recognizable to Charleston-area food fans.
“We’ve been asked every year,” said Al Leonoro, co-owner of Leonoro’s Restaurant. “We thought it would be a good idea to get involved, that it could be worthwhile. We’ve been around for 100 years, so it’s not like we really need the exposure, but it could help. It’s usually slower for the other restaurants that aren’t participating in the week.”
While some of the restaurants will do special dishes just for the occasion, Leonoro said his restaurant isn’t offering any items that are exclusive to the week.
“We’ve just picked some of our most popular dishes,” he said.
Bricks & Barrels, which opened last May, is another new participant. Unlike Leonoro’s, they’re one of the more recent additions to the city’s culinary scene.
“I think it will give the community an opportunity to see what all we have to offer at a great price,” said co-owner Nikki Holbert.
She said Bricks & Barrels’ Restaurant Week menu, which is still being finalized, will have a large focus on seafood, a specialty of new chef Lee Swoope.
“It’ll definitely highlight what he’s able to do,” Holbert said.
Adrian “Bay” Wright, of Dem 2 Brothers & A Griil, also hopes that Restaurant Week will give him an opportunity to show off his talents and new space on the West Side.
“We’re trying to reach another part of the community, and this will show people what we serve and what we can do,” he said.
“I think we’ll get a good turnout. We’ve moved into a new building, we have more seating and a full bar, and I hope to have a little jazz to make it more of a dinner experience.”
Su-Tei is one of two participating restaurants located outside of the downtown area, in Kanawha City. Manager Andri Purwanto said that they decided to participate this year to represent and bring more traffic to Kanawha City.
“It’s easy to get to, we have parking, and the price will be the same, so why shouldn’t they come here,” Purwanto said.
He added that they expect to get plenty of calls.
“I know people love this restaurant.”
Restaurants returning for Charleston Restaurant Week 2016 include: Adelphia Sports Bar & Grille, B&D Gastropub, Bluegrass Kitchen, Bridge Road Bistro, Celsius, Ichiban Pan Asian Restaurant, Mi Cocina de Amor, Paterno’s at the Park, Soho’s at Capitol Market, South Hills Market & Cafe, Starling’s, Tidewater Grill and Quarrier Diner.
Reservations for Restaurant Week are highly recommended. Many of the restaurants will book up quickly, and some, Young said, began receiving calls when their names were released.
“It’s a slower time of year, so everyone sees an increase,” Young said. “I think the exclusivity of it gets people out.”
Reach Dawn Nolan at
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