First ever event promises you can “Eat. Drink. Be Merry. All week!”
You may have noticed the signs sprouting up around downtown Appleton the past few days carrying that tagline. The signs announce the first ever Fox Cities Restaurant Week, a homegrown event designed to celebrate all things foodie in the Fox Cities.
The event, which runs Aug. 27 through Sept. 3, highlights the cuisine and chefs from 30 restaurants in the greater Fox Cities area with fixed-priced, three-course lunch and dinner menus. It’s a chance to try a restaurant that’s always had your interest, or reconnect with a favorite haunt you haven’t visited in a while.
Certainly, the Thursday-to-Thursday, week-long event should help drive traffic into area restaurants during a week traditionally considered a slow time. But organizers also see the event as part of greater efforts to create a greater sense of place that will attract others to the region.
“That is a tough week for restaurants because it’s right before kids go back to school,” says Samantha Dennis, owner of Styled Accordingly and one of the young professionals who organized the first-ever restaurant week for the Fox Cities. “But we also see it as a community event – it’s about creating the kinds of community we want.”
Much like the more well-known Mile of Music, events such as restaurant week send signals that a community has the amenities many young professionals are looking for. A vibrant entertainment sector — including local restaurants — is an important asset for a community to attract and retain this group, which is known for deciding where they want to live before they decide what company the will work for.
The idea of Fox Cities restaurant week has bounced around various groups for a few years, but began to pick up steam as Green Bay and other nearby cities launched their own events. Dennis and the group of young professionals she is working with decided the time had come to launch a Fox Cities edition, and they look forward to involving other groups that has been working toward an event.
“We really did things on a compressed time line this year,” she says. “But we needed to claim the space.”
Fox Cities Restaurant Week organizers expect to announce the participating restaurants and their menus Wednesday. You can keep up the latest announcements at www.restaurantweekfc.com or on Facebook at Fox Cities Restaurant Week.