Now in its 8th year, Charlotte Restaurant Week, affectionately, officially and appropriately known as Queens Feast continues to be a restaurant promotional phenomenon that over the years has captured the attention and appetites of thousands of diners across the Metropolitan Charlotte area.
Charlotte Restaurant Week has grown into a multi-county promotion in which numerous upscale restaurants will offer a prix fixe, three-course dinner at a cost of only $30 or $35 per person (not including tax and gratuity).
This special 10-day long pricing, substantially less than what a typical three-course meal would cost at any of the restaurants involved, doesn’t mean “dumbed down” food or less than fabulous service. In fact, it’s just the opposite.
The premise here is to give potentially new patrons, who might not otherwise ever step in the door of some of these high-end establishments, a chance to try out the eats and the experience at an easy-on-the-pocket book price tag. At the same time the promotion adds value to the dining out experience for restaurant regulars. Truth is, the restaurant week promotion helps the dining establishments, too, bringing in a broader cliental base at a time of the year that is generally slow for the restaurant industry at large.
In Charlotte Queens Feast has become an event patrons plan for, gathering groups of friends, making reservations well in advance to get in at all their favorite spots. With the ten day stretch of the event, and this round with over 135 restaurants participating, there is a lot of eating to be done!
This year, news of Charlotte’s Winter Queens Feast spread far and wide. So good was all the promo, in fact that even Snow Storm Jonas came into town to celebrate the kick-off weekend.
Like an unexpected 15-yard penalty on the first yard line, Jonas came in for the evening and covered the city in snow and ice making it next to impossible for patrons to drive for reservations.
Many restaurants remained open that first day or two, serving walk in neighborhood traffic with limited hours, hashtagging on social media #WeAintAfraidOfNoSnow; but the truth of the matter is the storm did affect many reservations and disappointed lots of Queens Feast enthusiasts.
Many a regal repast
The great news now is that as we now approach the last official weekend of 2016 Winter Queens Feast, many of the participating restaurants are hosting what author and speaker Jon Acuff would call a Do Over.
Perhaps in this case, we could more cleverly refer to it, as a Royal Redux (a term I wish I had thought of, but I didn’t. I must admit I stole from the talented PR team at Vivace Charlotte, one of the participating Charlotte Queens Feast restaurants).
“There is always such excitement about Queens Feast among diners,” said Vivace Charlotte’s Executive Chef Mike Suppa. “The icy conditions during the event’s first weekend were disappointing to a lot of people. We want to extend the concept – and the savings. We’re proud of the menu we developed for the occasion and are ready to wow our regulars and newcomers.”
“In the restaurant business, you get very good at being flexible and innovative,” he added. “Adding another weekend was a no-brainer for us.”
No matter what you call it – an extended schedule, a Do Over or a Royal Redux, the fact is that Charlotte area diners can look for many of the Queens Feast restaurants to extend the 3 for $30 or $35 offer into the first week of February.
That’s right, the semi-annual Queen’s Feast: Charlotte Restaurant Week continues as originally scheduled through January 31 with 135 participating restaurants in 8 counties offering prix fixe menus of three courses or more at dinner for $30 or $35 per person (not including tax and gratuity).
And now, dozens of restaurants are also extending their Queen’s Feast menu offers for varying dates the following week to accommodate patrons whose dining plans were thwarted by last weekend’s winter storm