Downtown Dining Week returns March 30 to April 10 and this year it’s a celebration of the resiliency of Downtown’s restaurant and hospitality industry that has, against all odds, weathered the ups and downs of the pandemic and kept their businesses afloat.
“Our Downtown hospitality businesses have been the hardest hit by the pandemic, more than any other industry or area of the city. Since 2020, they’ve been struggling to stay afloat and many have pivoted and innovated to serve customers in new ways, but nothing in this industry has the same payoff as in-person dining. The return of 60,000+ office workers to Downtown over the next few weeks is the light at the end of the tunnel,” says Puneeta McBryan, executive director of the Edmonton Downtown Business Association.
Launching during the first phase of workers returning to the office, the 12-day event is well-timed to boost restaurant sales and Downtown vibrancy. After two years of working remotely, employees are eager to go back to the office and hang out with colleagues. According to the EDBA’s Return to the Office Survey, socializing with co-workers and going out for lunch are the top reasons workers are looking forward to returning to the office. Fifty percent of survey respondents said they were looking forward to lunch specials. This should translate into increased lunch-time sales for the Downtown restaurants offering $20 lunch-time menus.
“Downtown Dining Week is something that our team has been putting on for years to showcase and boost our best Downtown restaurants, but never before has it been as impactful and important as it’s been during COVID. We’ve heard from many of our businesses that Dining Week in the past two years has been an absolute lifeline,” says Puneeta McBryan, executive director of the Edmonton Downtown Business Association. “For workers coming back to the office, we hope they’re planning to head Downtown without a packed lunch, and to take this opportunity to try out some of the new restaurants that have opened or to revisit old favourites.”
Sixty restaurants are geared up to offer multi-course dinner, lunch and brunch menus for $20, $35, $50 and $65. From hidden gems such as The Wine Room, classic mainstays like TZIN, The Marc, and LUX to new restaurant concepts like 5th Street Food Hall, there’s a restaurant for every occasion. Fast casuals are back again this year and all-day combos that are easy on the wallet.
Also back this year are Downtown Dining Week events. Edmonton author Scott Messenger hosts a craft beer tasting at Craft Beer Market on April 4. Food educator and restaurateur Cindy Lazerenko leads a tour of the Edmonton Downtown Farmers Market on April 9.
We’ve also made it easier to park during Downtown Dining Week. April 6, 7 and 8, diners can park at Ice District Central Parkade for only $2 all-day from (11 am -10pm).
For a list of the 60 participating restaurants, events and other information, please visit edmontondowntown.com/diningweek.
To arrange an in-person interview, please contact Tracy Hyatt, marketing and communications manager, email@example.com, 780-426-8579