Cafe Society

Denver Restaurant Week could turn into two weeks, winter and summer

Denver Restaurant Week ended at the close of service on March 11, with a record number of restaurants participating: 303. "Talk about a Denver number," says Rich Grant, the spokesman for Visit Denver, the convention and visitors bureau that organizes the seven-year-old event. Even more impressive was the number of page views that Denver Restaurant Week collected as hungry would-be diners perused the on-line $52.80 offerings: over 8 million by the time the two-week-long eating orgy ended.

And already, diners and restaurateurs alike are making plans for the next round. Or could that be rounds?

When the economy took a nosedive, Denver Restaurant Week was extended to two weeks - and that's the same span that those 303 restaurants signed on for this year. But fourteen days of specials was grueling for many of the busier restaurants, and now there's talk of possibly splitting Denver Restaurant Week into two actual seven-day weeks: one at the end of February, a traditionally slow time in the dining business, and one in August, which can also be slow. Dividing the dining opportunities between winter and summer would give the staffs time to breathe - and also allow chefs to have some fun with seasonal ingredients. Places with patios would also be able to show off their outdoor spaces.

According to Grant, it's too early to think about major Denver Restaurant Week changes; Visit Denver won't be sending its survey of the most recent incarnation to participating restaurants for another month. But splitting the weeks between winter and summer already sounds like a win-win to us.

While Visit Denver collects the opinions of restaurateurs, you can read all about how diners enjoyed their $52.80 deals on Cafe Society; we awarded an EatDenver discount deck to the best and worst stories. And we're still collecting sagas from servers who survived the two-week Denver Restaurant Week: Best server story posted hereby 5 p.m. Friday wins an EatDenver deck, too.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun