By Kevin Collison
The Ninth Annual Kansas City Restaurant Week starts serving today with a record 191 participating restaurants, three dozen in greater downtown alone.
First hatched as way to stir up business during a traditionally sleepy period for restaurants, the event which covers two weekends from Jan. 12-21, has restaurants jamming with diners and also has raised a total of $1.75 million for charity.
“Nine years ago, working with the Restaurant Association, VisitKC identified January as a need period for downtown restaurants,” said Derek Klaus, director of communications for VisitKC, the agency charged with promoting tourism and the hospitality industry in metro Kansas City.
“People were coming off the holidays, perhaps they had a New Year’s resolution and it’s just cold in Kansas City this time of year. This event highlights the new dining scene and promotes business during a need period.”
A kickoff event was held this week at The Monarch Room, 1701 McGee. Several restaurants from throughout the metro offered samples, wine and beer distributors were on hand, and members of the Kansas City Community Garden staffed a table and answered questions.
The Community Garden is the beneficiary of this year’s Restaurant Week. The organization will receive 10 percent of the proceeds of all KC Restaurant Week meals.
Participating restaurants offer lunch and dinner menus under two price tiers, $15 and $33.
“This is an incredible opportunity for us and to benefit financially,” said Courtney Foy, development director for KC Community Gardens.
“The 10 percent of the process will help the over 25,000 families we serve as we help them to grow their own fresh fruits and vegetables.”
Klaus added the $15 and $33 menu price points for meals at some of the metro’s finest dining establishments allow people to try new places.
“You can get a lunch for $15 or a really nice meal at Corvino (Supper Club) that’s at a fantastically affordable price point,” he said. “People might be willing to take a chance on a new concept because the price is affordable.”
Since arriving in Kansas City in 2006, Klaus said the downtown dining scene has expanded dramatically with new choices and higher quality.
“The Power & Light District came on board 10 years ago and there’s a new infrastructure of restaurants in the downtown corridor,” he said. “Instead of just sandwich shops and food courts, there are fine-dining restaurateurs like Michael Corvino and Ryan Brazeal at Novel.
“It’s an exciting time to dine in downtown again.”
Here are the downtown restaurants participating in this year’s Restaurant Week:
-801 Chophouse, 71 E. 14th St.
-Affare, 1911 Main St.
-Bar Central (KC Marriott Downtown), 200 W. 12th St.
-Blue Bird Bistro, 1700 Summit St.
-Blvd Tavern, 320 Southwest Blvd.
-Brewery Emperial, 1829 Oak St.
-BRGR Kitchen + Bar, 11 E. 14th St.
-Bristol Seafood Grill, 51 E. 14th St.
-Brown & Loe, 429 Walnut St.
-Cleaver & Cork, 1333 Walnut St.
-Corvino Supper Club & Tasting Room, 1830 Walnut St.
-The Dining Experience at the Kauffman Center, 1601 Broadway
-Drunken Fish, 14 E. 14th St.
-The Dubliner Irish Pub and Restaurant, 170 E. 14th St.
-Extra Virgin, 1900 Main St.
-Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue, 101 W. 22nd St.
-Garozzo’s Ristorante, 526 Harrison St.
-Grunauer, 101 W. 22nd St.
-Harvey’s at Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd.
-The Homesteader Cafe, 100 E. Seventh St.
-The Jacobson, 2050 Central St.
-La Bodega, 703 Southwest Blvd.
-Le Fou Frog, 400 E. Fifth St.
-Lidia’s, 101 W. 22nd St.
-The Majestic Restaurant, 931 Broadway
-Manny’s Mexican Restaurant, 207 Southwest Blvd.
-MetropolitanKC (KC Marriott Downtown) 200 W. 12th St.
-Michael Smith Restaurant, 1900 Main St.
-Novel, 815 W. 17th St.
-Pierpont’s at Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd.
-Providence New American Kitchen (Hilton President), 1329 Baltimore Ave.
-Reserve Restaurant & Lounge (Ambassador Hotel), 1111 Grand Blvd.
-Tannin Wine Bar & Kitchen, 1526 Walnut St.
-Tavernonna (Hotel Phillips), 106 W. 12th St.
-Webster House Restaurant, 1644 Wyandotte St.
-Yard House, 1300 Main St.
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