Restaurant Week Returns to Frederick

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Aug. 9—The time for culinary creations and meal deals, designed to boost local businesses, has returned to Frederick.

August 8-14 is Frederick Restaurant Week. The event usually takes place in March and August.

The event, which dates back to 2010, aims to fill seats and promote restaurants during what can be a slower time of year, according to Jake Wynn, marketing and communications manager for Visit Frederick.

“It’s really an opportunity to come together with all of the great restaurants here in Frederick County and sort of introduce ourselves as a collective to potential visitors who are interested in a variety of dining experiences…to experience a little before -taste of what Frederick has to offer,” Wynn said Monday.

The event is presented by Visit Frederick and The Frederick News-Post.

On average, restaurants saw their sales increase by 10% during Restaurant Week, according to Wynn.

He described the week as a time for restaurants to try something new or offer specials.

In Brewer’s Alley, the North Market Street brewpub is using the week to revive some retro dishes.

Buffalo chicken pizza and chicken and waffles are back on the menu, manager Greg Brown said. There’s also beer-battered onion rings and a 10-ounce New York steak.

For those with a sweet tooth, the in-house pastry chef offers a strawberry parfait and a homemade chocolate banana cream pie.

Brown said if the items are well received during restaurant week, customers may find them on the menu in the future.

“Any opportunity that…the community can come together to create a good experience, I think, is a win,” he said.

At The Showroom on North East Street, general manager Matthew Josephs said Restaurant Week is “always a good boost” for the restaurant.

“I’m sure we’ll see an increase in numbers from previous weeks,” Josephs said Monday afternoon. “It’s also a great opportunity to find new guests who might not come on the usual evenings.”

Showroom offers a two-course brunch menu and a three-course dinner menu for restaurant week. Chicken pot pie fritters, watermelon gazpacho, fish and chips, meatloaf, bread pudding and milkshakes are some of the delights this week.

Showroom and Brewer’s Alley are among the 14 participating restaurants.

Restaurant Week attendance has been higher in the past. Wynn said they had 18 attendees in March.

Visit Frederick is trying to encourage restaurant engagement, he said, but some businesses struggling with labor may not be able to engage.

There is a registration fee of around $250, according to Wynn, which helps Visit Frederick promote Restaurant Week.

Wynn said it wants to attract local residents to the restaurants as well as people from areas such as Baltimore, DC and Philadelphia. The hope is that visitors from outside Frederick will decide to stick around for a while and combine their dining excursion with a visit to local museums or live events, Wynn said.

According to Richard Griffin, director of the city’s economic development department, Frederick receives more than 2 million visitors each year from people traveling 50 miles or more. He believes Restaurant Week contributes to those numbers.

“It makes a huge difference to the restaurant,” Griffin said.

Follow Mary Grace Keller on Twitter:

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