The week of good eats

Local Restaurant Week takes over Buffalo with hundreds of choices


Drinks, music, food, large crowds and local businesses are offering deals throughout Buffalo for the next week.

Buffalo’s Local Restaurant Week started in 2009, occurs twice a year and gives local restaurants the opportunity to show off their menus. There are more than 200 restaurants participating this week. Restaurants include the 189 Public House, Bravo Cafe & Catering and The Family Tree Restaurant. 

“Local Restaurant Week is a marketing blitz where restaurants get together to pull money for an advertising campaign and focus on reaching out to new customers to try to convince them to try their place once,” said food editor for The Buffalo News, Andrew Galarneau. 

Restaurants offer dinner specials throughout the week that are a fraction of the price of what customers would pay regularly. 

“They’re offering specials that are a little bit of a deal to give the people an incentive to come in,” Galarneau said. “For instance, Tappo, which is an Italian place on Ellicott Street, this week for $20.19, you can get two dinners and a bottle of wine.”

Mike Andrzejewski owns Seabar, a participating sushi restaurant on Ellicott Street. Andrzejewski said Local Restaurant Week gives restaurants a chance to get involved and put themselves out there to possible customers. 

Participating restaurants will hold multiple concerts and events throughout the week, including the Bisons’ Opening Day, “Parade” and “After the Fall.” The Bisons’ Opening Day will be held at Sahlen Field Thursday at 2 p.m. The baseball team will have its kickoff at the newly named Sahlen Field at the event and ticket prices range from $11-14. The musical “Parade” will take place on the same day at Thearteloft at 8 p.m. General admission tickets cost $20 and $10 for students.

The Denver Post reported that some restaurants do not participate in Denver’s restaurant week as they lose money and some restaurants may find there to be little-to-no benefit in the overflow of customers. 

“It’s definitely a question among restaurant owners, whether it’s worth the aggravation of bringing in a bunch of people who are penny pinchers,” Galarneau said. “But restaurant week keeps growing so restaurants must have been convinced that it’s worth while.”

Bill Panzica, owner of The Chocolate Bar, said he participates because it brings people from out of town to downtown Buffalo to gain a new experience. The Chocolate Bar only started out with soups and salads, but because of Local Restaurant Week, it received a push in business to expand. 

“When we started with restaurant week, we only offered soup, salad and sandwiches,” Panzica said.  “We decided ‘why not try something different?’ We offered steaks and the first restaurant week, we sold over 650 steaks. Now we have an 18-page menu and I really believe the genesis of that was restaurant week.” 

Panzica said Local Restaurant Week brings a sense of community because everyone is working together. 

Alexandra Moyen is a staff writer and can be reached at: features@ubspectrum.com.