In a few weeks, it may get quite a bit harder to land an open table at a restaurant in St. Charles.
And that is precisely what St. Charles city officials and restaurateurs alike hope will happen, when the community rolls out its annual St. Charles Restaurant Week event.
Now, in its seventh year, the annual weeklong promotion, which takes place at the end of February and beginning of March, offers people the chance to save 20 percent anytime they dine at participating restaurants throughout the city of St. Charles.
This year, the event will run from Monday, Feb. 27, to Friday, March 3.
“We love it,” says Lisa Garhan, spokeswoman for the City of St. Charles. “It gets people out and offers them a great chance to explore St. Charles’ booming restaurant scene.”
Last year, more than 30 restaurants participated in the event.
The 2016 list of participating restaurants included Salerno’s on the Fox, Francesca’s by the River, Szechwan Restaurant, Gino’s East, Colonial Café, the Evergreen Pub & Grill, the St. Charles Steak House and Riverside Pizza & Pub, Shakou St. Charles, Wok ‘n’ Fire, Isacco Kitchen, Rox City Grill and the Spotted Fox Ale House, among many others.
This year’s list of participating restaurants had not yet been publicized by the time this story went to press. But Garhan says that the roster of participating establishments is expected to be just as varied, as nearly three dozen restaurants of all kinds are expected to sign on to accept the 20 percent off Restaurant Week coupon.
In mid-February, the city will mail the coupons – in the form of postcards – to city residents and others. Coupons also will be printed in local newspapers and posted online at the city of St. Charles’ website, www.stcharlesil.gov, and online advertisements will offer the dining coupons, which will be available to print or download to mobile phones and other devices.
Once a diner visits one of the restaurants on the list of participating establishments, he or she should present the coupon at the time of service to get his or her check discounted 20 percent.
The list of participating restaurants will be published on the city of St. Charles’ website.
While the program itself is easy, securing a table at certain popular dining spots during Restaurant Week can prove a bit more challenging, Garhan says. Many take advantage of the weeklong event because it’s a lower-cost way to visit an old favorite or try a new place.
“… We definitely recommend people get their reservations in as soon as they get their coupons,” she says. “Some tables will go fast.”
The city doesn’t know how many people actually participate in the event, but Garhan says that the city’s Restaurant Week page, located on the city’s website, received more than 3,500 unique visits in the week leading up to the event – meaning that it drew large interest from households throughout the Tri-Cities and beyond.
Restaurant owners regularly tell the city that “they are notably busier during Restaurant Week,” she says.
“Sushi, pizzas, fine dining, pubs and grills – there are so many choices,” Garhan says. “You can easily delight your foodie side.”