Alexandria Restaurant Week Receives Mixed Reviews

Restaurants throughout the city participated in the winter event

The Alexandria Convention and Visitors Association is receiving positive feedback from local restaurants that participated in the winter Alexandria Restaurant Week, which ended Jan. 22.

“We do see an increased amount of business during the restaurant week program, as well as an increase in NEW clientele,” Rebecca Beard of , located at 315 Madison St. in Old Town, commented in response to an ACVA survey.

John Kurtz with , at 815 South Washington St. in Old Town, commented to the ACVA that out of a possible four stars, “Restaurant week is always a 4 star promo for us. We had 370 couples take advantage of the Dinner for Two.”

The ACVA organizes and markets the event. ACVA spokeswoman Claire Mouledoux said 61 restaurants participated in the winter event.

Del Ray restaurants participating this year included La Strada and FireFlies, both located on Mt. Vernon Avenue.  owner Steve Scott said the weekend was good, while the weekdays were terrible.

“It doesn’t seem like people look forward to it in Alexandria,” he said.

But Adam Kramer, manager at , said the week was a success.

“It went great this year,” he said. “It’s probably the smoothest it went for us yet. We had some great specials, some great dessert specials, and we had a lot of new customers come in.”

The initiative was launched in 2009 and takes place twice a year, in January and August.

“Alexandria Restaurant Week was created to not only be an economic driver for our local businesses, for our local restaurants, many of which are independently owned,” Mouledoux said. “I would say it also helps Alexandria became known even more as a culinary destination."

The ACVA marketing push for the January event reached more than 4 million potential visitors through a regional print advertising, radio, email and online marketing campaign, according to the association. The ACVA spent $20,000 and leveraged an extra $30,000 through negotiations with advertising media buyers.

Karen Gautney January 27, 2012 at 01:47 AM
I try to take advantage of Restaurant Week. I look for opportunities to try new restaurants at a good price, and I've actually found some restaurants through special offers that I return to frequently. It's my opinion that the specials offered in Alexandria for Restaurant Week generally aren't compelling enough for me to check out new places. Given the economy, I suspect I'm not the only one looking for a good deal. I would encourage participating restaurants to be a little more creative to take better advantage of the publicity, and lure in more customers.


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