Charleston Restaurant Week is growing — again.
The fourth annual week-long, city-wide event runs from Jan. 23-28, and is expected to draw a bigger turnout than ever before.
Restaurant Week will feature 20 different restaurants offering three-course meals (consisting of appetizer, entree and dessert) for $30.
This year, two new restaurants are joining in on the event, and more than a dozen will return from last year’s event.
“The restaurants that are wanting to participate now is an awesome testament to what the event has turned into now,” said Dickinson Gould, president of Buzz Food Service, which organizes the event each year. “We’re proud of what it is and does for local restaurants.”
More than 8,000 meals were sold during Restaurant Week in 2015, based on survey numbers provided to Buzz by the participating restaurants. With additional purchases, gratuity and taxes, the result was roughly $350,000 in economic impact for the city in 2015.
Gould said the event grew in 2016, with more than 10,000 meals sold and an estimated half-million-dollar economic impact on the city.
As Charleston’s Restaurant Week event continues to grow, it’s even catching the eyes of outsiders. Buzz Food Service got word last month from the Southeast Tourism Society that Charleston Restaurant Week was chosen as a “Top 20 Event” in the first quarter of 2017 for the entire Southeast region of the United States.
“That’s far beyond what our biggest ambition was when we started this,” Gould said.
Restaurant Week allows diners to try new restaurants they might not otherwise try, Gould said.
It also makes the experience easier, less intimidating and affordable when the menus and prices are clearly laid out before guests even enter the restaurant during the event.
Menus for Restaurant Week are still being finalized and will be available in the coming days.
And for the restaurants, it makes all the difference in a time that is typically slow for the entire industry.
“It is the perfect time. In January everyone has their New Year’s resolutions. They’re going to eat healthy, they’re not going to eat out, they’re going to save money. It’s really slow for restaurants. So we love it. We see at least a 40-percent increase in our business,” said Nikki Paterno, owner of Paterno’s at the Park.
Paterno’s has participated in Restaurant Week from the start. Paterno said the restaurant typically fills up each night of the week-long event — during a time when that’s typically not the case.
“I love that it gets people who never normally come in here to eat. People who maybe feel like it’s uncomfortable for them or out of their price range. It gives them the chance to come in and see what we have to offer,” she said.
This year’s Charleston Restaurant Week participants include: Adelphia Bar and Grille, B&D Gastropub, Bluegrass Kitchen, Bridge Road Bistro, Celsius, Ichiban, Mi Cocina de Amor, Paterno’s at the Park, Soho’s, South Hills Market and Cafe, Tidewater Grill, Quarrier Diner, The Block, Bricks & Barrels, Su Tei, Dem 2 Brothers and a Grill, Leonoro’s Spaghetti House, Laury’s, The Chop House, and Adventures Bar and Grill.
The Chop House and Adventures Bar and Grill are two new additions for the 2017 Restaurant Week event, Gould said.
Reservations are strongly encouraged, but not required for the event. Gould said reservations allow each restaurant to prepare for the week to ensure service runs smoothly.
Gift certificates are also available for the first time. However, Gould said they are not required to eat at any of the participating restaurants.
“It’s not just that they got a great meal at an affordable price. I’ve always said this event helps to attract crowds to restaurants in a town where you don’t usually need a reservation,” he said. “Eating in a crowded restaurant, it makes the entire experience better.”
For more information or to purchase a gift certificate for the 2017 Charleston Restaurant Week, like the Charleston WV Restaurant Week Facebook page. Use and follow the hashtag #cwvrestweek on social media to look for updates and posts about the event.
Reach Carlee Lammers at
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