By Sandra Armbruster
Observer & Eccentric
If you missed Restaurant Week in Southfield, which ended on Saturday, don’t worry. Executive Director Tanya Markos-Vanno of the Southfield Area Chamber of Commerce says that the event will return again next year — but this time in May.
“We did do some research, and at the time (Detroit’s Restaurant Week) was not scheduled,” she said, adding that the move to a May date should avoid any conflict with other restaurant weeks.
Markos-Vanno said that the special week has been successful, especially for some of the eight eateries on the list, like Bacco Restaurante and Pizzeria Biga. Others participating included Gastronomy, McVee’s Bar and Grille, the Skyline Club, Beans & Cornbread, Franklin Street Grill and Tango’s.
Unlike in Birmingham, where restaurant week there included lunch and dinner, the Southfield event organizers strategically decided to keep its week solely for dinner patrons. Markos-Vanno explained that Southfield has a daytime population of 170,000 thousand, including those who work in the city. But that population drops to 72,000 at night.
With that daytime population, restaurants have no trouble attracting a lunch-time crowd. “The idea was to get some of those (business people) in for dinner,” she said.
The chamber and restaurants were able to track participation through reservations made by those who attended the special, fixed price dinners, which ranged from $15 at Pizzeria Biga to $35 elsewhere. Included in the price were an appetizer, dinner and dessert. The price did not include gratuities, which the chamber posted to its website after a protest was registered at one restaurant last week.
All full-serve restaurants in Southfield were invited to join in this year’s event, Markos-Vanno said. Next year, the event will be expanded to include Lathrup Village restaurants, such as Salvatore Scallopini, located on Southfield Road.
“This is open for anyone,” she said.
Restaurant Week is just one of the initiatives that the chamber has under way. Markos-Vanno said that the SACC will soon unveil a new brand for the group.
“We’re trying to stay up to date,” she said. “We’re very excited.”
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