Restaurants have a history as places of protest

DC is set to get a double dose of dining destination deals over the next few weeks: Black Restaurant Week (July 18-31) and RAMW Summer Restaurant Week (August 15-21).

Black Restaurant Week

Founded in 2016, Black Restaurant Week hosts its third annual celebration of African American, African and Caribbean cuisine in the DC and Baltimore area July 18-31. During Black Restaurant Week, participating establishments create their own promotions, rather than being locked into a specific meal or set price menu.

For this iteration, BRW is partnering with the National Urban League Conference and has extended the promotion from 10 days to 14. BRW, according to its founders, was developed to shine a light on minority businesses – helping them build awareness of the community to increase their bottom line. The mission: to celebrate African American, African and Caribbean influences in the culinary industry, educating consumers about the abundance of cultural cuisines.

More than 100 restaurants are participating in the region. A short and non-exhaustive list includes 2 Southern Belles, All Set Restaurant & Bar, Austin Grill, Cloudy Donut, England Eatery, FishScale, Melange, Money Muscle BBQ and Negril the Jamaican Eatery.

As part of the campaign, BRW is hosting events to better bring the restaurant community together. The promotion begins with a Kickoff Mixer at Delevate on July 19; other events include happy hour, open mic night, and date night, all at various participating venues.

Black Restaurant Week has supported more than 2,000 restaurants, bars, bakeries, caterers, food trucks and other culinary establishments across the country since the organization’s inception.

Kristal Williams, co-owner of Fishscale, says, “Black Restaurant Week provides an opportunity to discover and celebrate black-owned restaurants and establishments owned by black chefs.
Ferrell, one of BRW’s co-founders, notes that, “During our Black Restaurant Week campaigns, we’re seeing an average 15% to 20% increase in sales for attendees, which helps tremendously as businesses are in a state of continued recovery from the pandemic and that we are in a season of inflation.

She continued, “Black Restaurant Week has an immediate financial impact on attendees. The goal is to reinvest money in the business. With our non-profit organization, Feed the Soul Foundation, we were able to provide $52,000 in financial support to minority-owned culinary businesses based in Washington, DC and Baltimore.
A full list of attendees and more information is available at blackrestaurantweeks.com.

RAMW Summer Restaurant Week

The semi-annual Summer Restaurant Week, hosted by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), will take place Monday, August 15 through Sunday, August 21. The region’s summer gastronomic promotion invites diners to discover regional restaurants in a variety of ways.

Participating restaurants will offer on-site multi-course brunch and lunch menus for $25 per person, and multi-course dinner menus for $40 or $55 per person. Many restaurants will also offer cocktail pairings.

Returning this summer, “RW-To-Go” dinners, available at two price points: $70 or $100 for two people and $140 or $200 for four people so those who are not comfortable with meals inside can take the meal home.

“Dinners across the region can look forward to what will be a delicious promotion celebrating the summer flavors of the season with value-priced menus,” said Kathy E. Hollinger, President and CEO of RAMW. “We have the return of popular RW cocktail, wine and mocktail pairings, as well as RW-To-Go dinners for diners looking for a fun night out or an al fresco picnic. This promotion is designed to provide the most options for customers when dining in our beautiful area.

Restaurants spanning from Alexandria to Friendship Heights to Woodley Park are participating.

A number of 2022 RAMMY Awards finalists are participating in the promotional dining week, including Annabelle, Baan Siam, Blend 111, Bindaas Cleveland Park & ​​Foggy Bottom, Bresca, China Chilcano, Convivial, Cranes, Dauphine’s, La Bise, La Cote D’Or Cafe, Mintwood Place, Modena, Nama, Slate Wine Bar, Rasika, Rasika West End and Sababa. The 2022 RAMMY Awards will take place on July 31.

New participating restaurants include Annabelle, Dolce Vita, Dovetail Bar & Restaurant at the Viceroy and Il Piatto.

Alan Popovsky, long-time attendee, co-founder and director of PRG Hospitality (Lincoln Restaurant, Teddy & the Bully Bar), says, “For our downtown establishments, Restaurant Week is an opportunity to build new relationships with customers and to strengthen those that already exist. This is essential in our industry today.

A full list of attendees and more information is available at ramw.org/restaurantweek.

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