Restaurant Week heats up


Restaurant Week Grand Rapids served up food at its opening press conference. Photo via

The 5th Annual Restaurant Week Grand Rapids kicked off Wednesday night, allowing the public to sample three-course meals for $28 at more than 60 area restaurants. This year, the event has a theme of perfect pairings, encouraging the restaurants to pair the meals with beer, wine and spirits.

"Restaurant Week opened last night to a lot of fanfare by media and reported increased traffic at restaurants that have communicated back to us," said Janet Korn, senior vice president of Experience Grand Rapids. "We expect that with the upcoming beautiful weather, people taking advantage of al fresco end-of-summer dining in our city and the fact that Restaurant Week is happening at over 60 restaurants throughout Greater Grand Rapids, that the event will be one of our most successful events yet. It takes a while to allow an event to grow and now in our 5th year we are hitting our stride."

Forty-five restaurants will offer three-course meals for $28 per person. Another 22 restaurants will offer two-person, three-course meals for $28.

A dollar from every meal sold for Restaurant Week will be donated to a scholarship fund at the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College. Since 2010, restaurants have donated nearly $75,000 to the fund.

“Restaurant Week is paying it forward to students to help expand and enrich the culinary talent within Grand Rapids,” said Doug Small, president of Experience Grand Rapids. “We love the fact that Secchia Institute for Culinary is one of the top 20 culinary schools in the nation. As a community we all benefit from that talent. Many of the students and graduates of the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education program remain in the community and work in the hospitality industry. Visiting restaurants is the most popular social activity convention guests and tourism visitors do while in Grand Rapids.”

A map of participating restaurants can be found online at

Two contests also highlight Restaurant Week, including The Grand Cocktail, which allows the public to vote on their cocktail favorites from participating restaurants. Winners will be announced at the Bourbon BBQ event at The BOB on Aug. 23.

The public can also share photos on Instagram in a “Perfect Pairings” contest. Diners upload photos using the hastag #RWGR to enter the contest. The most likes will win gift certificates to area restaurants.

Three-course restaurants

Amore Trattoria Italiana, The Acorn Grill at Thousand Oaks Golf Course, Applebees (seven locations), Arayana at Crowne Plaza, Bistro Bella Vita, The Bulls Head Tavern, Blue Water Grill, Brewery Vivant, Bar Divani, CitySen Lounge, Cork Wine & Grille, Charley’s Crab, Cygnus 27, FireRock Grille, Flat River Grill, Flat River Grill, Grove, Grand Rapids Brewing Company, The Green Well, Gilly’s at The BOB, Houlihan’s, Judson’s Steakhouse, Licari’s Sicilian Pizza Kitchen, Mangiamo!, McFadden’s Restaurant & Saloon, Marco New American Bistro, Maya Mexican Grill & Bar, Olive’s Restaurant, One Trick Pony, Osteria Rossa, Rush Creek Bistro, Red’s on the River, Rose’s, Rockwell Republic, River House Ada, Reserve Wine & Food, SpeakEZ Lounge, San Chez Bistro,, Shiraz Grille, Spinnaker, Timber’s Inn Restaurant & Tavern, Terra GR, The Melting Pot, Tre Cugini, Z’s Bar & Restaurant.

Three courses for two restaurants

Bagger Dave’s, Bobarino’s at The BOB, Brann’s on Leonard, Buffalo Wild Wings (five locations), Cottage Bar and Restaurant, El Granjero Mexican Grill, Fajita Republic, Grand Woods Lounge, Green Restaurant, HopCat, Kitchen 67, Lindo Mexico, Osta’s Lebanese Cuisine, Peppino’s Downtown, Pietro’s Italian Restaurant, Railside Golf Club, Red Jet Café, Rezervoir Lounge, Stella’s Lounge, Tavern on the Square, The Mitten Brewing Company, The Pearl Street Grill

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