Get your appetite ready Williamsburg Restaurant Week

aheymann@vagazette.com

Make sure not to fill up on the bread basket if you’re out to dinner, because Williamsburg Restaurant Week is back with new, tantalizing specials from Jan. 21-31.

Debi Schaefer, executive director of the Williamsburg Area Restaurant Association, said 35 restaurants have signed up to participate in this year’s Restaurant Week, including the Hound’s Tale, Old City Barbecue and the Cheese Shop.

Schaefer said the event helps drum up more business during the area’s off-season. Jaquelyn Liebler, general manager of Revolution Golf and Grille, said during last year’s Restaurant Week they saw about a 40 percent increase in foot traffic.

“You notice a big dip this time of year and it’s great to give people a reason to come in,” Liebler said.

One of the ways Restaurant Week attracts diners is through discounts. During the event, local restaurants offer up special menus at lower prices.

“Every year our Restaurant Week menu is unique and we use (it) an opportunity to see how items might do to put on our regular menu, or our special lunch menus,” said Jessica Smith, sales and marketing director for Opus 9 and Craft 31.

Schaefer said the event’s prices also encourage diners to visit restaurants they’ve never visited before.

“(Restaurant Week) gives us an opportunity to reach a new customer base, people who have not experienced Opus and Craft may be enticed to join us for a very special deal,” Smith said.

Smith added restauranteurs in the area get excited about participating.

“(Opus 9 and Craft 31) have always enjoyed Restaurant Week, it always keeps us busy and this year, in fact, we started a week early in both of our restaurants,” Smith said. “We often will often extend through February and sometimes into March.”

Three restaurants that plan to extend their Restaurant Week specials into February this year are the Second St. Bistro, Opus 9 and Craft 31, according to Schaefer.

“Its a lot of fun, I’ve gotten a lot of calls — some from Northern Virginia, south side of the peninsula, that come just for Restaurant Week,” Schaefer said. “So we are really excited about it this year.”

Want to learn more?

To find a list of participating restaurants and their specials, visit williamsburgarearestaurants.com/events.

Heymann can be reached by phone at 757-298-5828 or on Twitter at @HeymannAmelia.

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