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Savor the flavor of Local Restaurant Week in WNY

Local Restaurant Week

Local restaurants get a chance to persuade those drivers passing by to stop and try a meal. It is Local Restaurant Week, with 199 locally owned restaurants offering special items and special prices to get people in the door and in the seats.

"From time to time, we do a charity end, but for the most part it's just to get new faces in the door and again, like I said, get people to try something new instead of going to the same Italian place you go to all the time," said Event Coordinator Christa Hobart. "Perhaps, you want to try the Thai place or the German restaurant or you want to have pizza some night. So there's really something for everyone."

There will be feature meals at $20.19, $30.19 and $40.19. It is an event that started in 2009 with 60 restaurants.

"It is very good for the restaurant business, which is why many of the restaurants that are participating in Local Restaurant Week have been in it for years," said Hobart. "So restaurant owners would say that they do it for several reasons, but the majority of the folks do it because it's a really big boom for business that week, not only for the restaurant owners but for the servers. They are making a lot of money that week."

Hobart said that is why that increase from those 60 initial restaurants to the 199 today, from Lewiston to Hamburg to Batavia.

"Some of the restaurants use Local Restaurant Week to feature the items that they are known for and then some of the restaurants use Local Restaurant Week as a time to try, like, when they are going to start a new menu for the fall, they might try out some of their fall menu items on the Local Restaurant Week menu," she said. "That's always something new."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.