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Downtown Syracuse Dining Weeks to include lunch option, benefit Food Bank

By Eric Reinhardt

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Merike Treier, executive director of the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, on Thursday announced details of the upcoming Downtown Syracuse Dining Weeks, which begins Feb. 15 and continues through Feb. 28. Forty restaurants will participate this year, and some will offer a lunch option as well. Treier spoke at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown. (Eric Reinhardt / BJNN)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The 14th annual Downtown Syracuse Dining Weeks, which begin Feb. 15 and continue through Feb. 28, will include a lunch option at some participating restaurants.

Restaurant patrons will also have a chance to donate to the Food Bank of Central New York as well.

A “record” 40 locally-owned downtown Syracuse restaurants will participate in the promotion, the Downtown Committee of Syracuse Inc. said in a news release issued Thursday morning.

The organization also announced details at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown in the area between Shaughnessy’s Irish Pub and Eleven Waters.

“[Participating restaurants will be] dishing out once-a-year deals that continue to attract as many as 50,000 people to downtown Syracuse over its two-week run. They come from all over Onondaga County as well as Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Oneida, and Oswego counties,” Merike Treier, executive director of the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, said in her remarks at the event.

In the promotion, 35 restaurants will serve three-course dinners for $25 or less during traditional dinner hours, and 21 of those restaurants will serve three-course lunch offerings for $10 or less.

It’ll be the first time that the Downtown Dining Weeks promotion has included lunch. The Downtown Committee added that option to benefit downtown restaurants that are only open during lunch hours.

The organization has posted a list of participating restaurants on its website, http://www.downtownsyracuse.com/diningweeks.

Downtown Dining Weeks started as a one-week promotion in 2005 to “drive business to restaurants during what is typically the slowest time of year for dining,” according to Treier. It expanded to two weeks in 2009.

The once-a-year promotion has grown every year since, “consistently attracting new restaurants, new guests, and new promotions,” Treier contends.

Endwell–based Visions Federal Credit Union is the presenting sponsor of Downtown Dining Weeks.

Hotels participating

Downtown hotels are again inviting guests to stay overnight at a discounted rate as part of a “sleep over package.”

First introduced last year, guests who stay at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown, the Jefferson Clinton Hotel, Courtyard by Marriott at Armory Square, and the Residence Inn by Marriott at Armory Square will receive a special $185 room rate during the Downtown Dining Weeks promotion.

Guests who show a Dining Weeks dinner receipt will have the option to receive an additional $25 off their room rate.

 

Food Bank donations

As part of this year’s promotion, the Downtown Committee is partnering with the Food Bank of Central New York to “help stock its pantries and feed the hungry in our community,” according to the news release.

Downtown Dining Weeks patrons can help the Food Bank in three ways, including “Food Bank Fridays.”

On the two Fridays that fall during Downtown Dining Weeks — Feb. 16 and Feb. 23 — diners can fill out a pledge card at their table and donate to the Food Bank. Patrons can leave the card with restaurant staff, and the Food Bank will follow up with them.

Besides “Food Bank Fridays,” if Downtown Dining Weeks customers stay at one of the four hotels offering the special “sleep over package” anytime during the promotion, they may show a receipt from their dinner at any of the 40 participating restaurants. The hotel will then either make a $25 donation to the Food Bank or take $25 off their room rate.

The third component involves parking. Syracuse Parking Services says four downtown parking facilities will collect non-perishable food items for the Food Bank.

With the food-item donation, parking at the Atrium Garage; Clinton Street Garage, the surface lot at Fayette and Walton Streets, and the surface lot at Fayette and Clinton Streets will cost just $5 beginning at 5 p.m. during Downtown Dining Weeks.

For every $1 donated, the Food Bank can provide three meals for an individual in need, according to the Downtown Committee’s release.

Contact Reinhardt at ereinhardt@cnybj.com

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