After learning Monday that the annual Lexington Restaurant Week won’t happen this year, local restaurants have decided to go ahead with a special dining “week” anyway.
“It’s kind of a grassroots effort,” said MJ Rogers, owner of Clawdaddy’s on Broadway, who floated the idea in an email to fellow eatery owneres. The response was immediate and positive, she said. “The first one to email me back ‘I’m in’ was The Ketch.” Restaurants downtown were especially enthusiastic.
They have pulled together “Lexington Eats Week” and will feature three-course set-price menus that give diners a chance to try places they might not visit on a regular basis. Most places will offer $25 or $26 menus for one or two people, depending on how upscale the restaurant is.
Details, including menus, will be released on the event’s Facebook page, Lexington Eats Week.
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The “week” will take place July 20 to 29, as was originally planned. Lexington Restaurant Week launched in 2013, featuring about 30 restaurants with multi-course meals for $25. Last year, it added LexArts as a charity partner, donating the extra $1 from each $26 meal.
We are going to serve our fans; they’re out there waiting.
MJ Rogers, organizer of Lexington Eats Week
Many restaurants plan to offer a chance to contribute to a particular charity, too, Rogers said.
Amongst those participating are Clawdaddy’s, The Ketch Seafood Grill, Malone’s, Drake’s, Harry’s, OBC Kitchen, Aqua Sushi Bar, Dudley’s on Short, Le Deauville, Portofino, Grillfish, Distilled at Gratz Park, Coles735 Main, Willie’s Locally Known, Lexington Pasta Garage, Palmer’s Fresh Grill, Minglewood, Honeywood from Ouita Michel, Holly Hill Inn, Saul Good, Bella Notte, Columbia’s Steak House, and Enoteca. More restaurants are signing on every day, Rogers said.
Earlier this week, director Connie Jo Miller announced that the 2017 Lexington Restaurant Week, to which she holds a copyright, wouldn’t take place because of the loss of a key sponsor late in the planning stages.
“We now have time to grow the event into one with more national appeal,” she said in a statement to the Herald-Leader. “Thankfully the state is expressing interest, and KY Proud has stepped in to help us add local independent distillers, wineries and craft breweries to the event. They along with participating locally owned restaurants are already signing up on LexingtonRestaurantWeek.com for July 19-28, 2018.”
Rogers said many local restaurant owners heard from patrons who were sorry they wouldn’t get a chance to dine out this year, so they decided to go ahead anyway, in part because the event helps to boost a slow season.
“People had been expecting it. The restaurants feel they need to continue, to make it an ongoing tradition,” Rogers said. “We are going to serve our fans; they’re out there waiting. ... We decided we didn’t want to miss the opportunity or disappoint our loyal customers.”