PHOENIX — Nearly 140 restaurants in Arizona -- all mostly in the Greater Phoenix area -- are participating in the fall edition of Arizona Restaurant Week, a 10-day culinary event where chefs and restauranteurs craft special three-course meals to showcase their restaurant menus and hopefully entice a few first-time to give them a try.
From Sept. 18-27, 2020, participating restaurants will officer three-course meals consisting of an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert for $33 or $44 per person, depending on the restaurant.
Some restaurants include an alcoholic drink in the price where others have it priced per couple, instead of individually. You can view a list of all the participating restaurants and their menus on the Arizona Restaurant Week website, here.
No matter which option you choose, it is a great way to support our local restaurants or to try a restaurant that you haven't been to before, said Steve Chucri, president of the Arizona Restaurant Association, which puts on the event each spring and fall.
"If you haven’t tried a restaurant before, hey, try one. And if you still aren’t comfortable leaving your home, we understand that, and that is why we’ve added the takeout component to this year," he said.
Restaurants in Arizona have remained open for takeout and delivery throughout the pandemic. Dining rooms were closed early on but have since been allowed to reopen as long as they're kept at 50% capacity or less.
During Arizona Restaurant Week, reservations are highly recommended.
Back in March, Chucri said that 8%-9% of Arizona's 8,500 restaurants could potentially close as a result of the economic impacts related to the pandemic. While it is unknown at this point what percentage of Arizona restaurants have closed -- and more than a handful of businesses have permanently closed over the last few months -- Chucri said Arizona's restaurants have adapted, will continue to adapt, and that he remains optimistic.
"We’re holding our own. We’re not in a celebratory mood. Could things be worse? Yes. But, we’re very grateful from the public response we’ve had from our lifelong customers, in some cases, patrons, regulars in our establishments keeping us going, as well as people who are willing to try something new," he said.
He said the biggest struggle restaurants are facing currently is the reduced occupancy. As COVID-19 cases have continued to trend downward over the last several weeks, Chucri said he would like to see if Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey would ease the 50% capacity limit to 75% ahead of the cooler months, which is when restaurants typically see an increase in diners.
"That means you’re not fully stocked with the people we need, meaning the employees that we have the good fortune to work with and serve with. We still have a lot of displaced workers. That is still one negative effect," he said of the reduced capacities.
IF YOU GO:
Fall Arizona Restaurant Week
Sept. 18-27, 2020