Life and Religion
|Queen’s Feast deepens roots as food showcase across region|
|Charlotte Restaurant Week is July 19-28|
|Published Friday, July 5, 2019 9:55 pm|
|COURTESY QUEEN'S FEAST|
|The semiannual Queen’s Feast has grown into a regional restaurant showcase.|
Queen’s Feast is a Charlotte staple.
Charlotte’s semiannual restaurant week takes place twice a year, in January and July to push traffic toward establishments that typically find they experience slower traffic during those times. It runs July 19-28 in 135 restaurants across nine counties. Participants feast on a high-end three-course meal for $30-$35 per person.
First-time participants include 44 Mills Kitchen + Tap in Concord; Bar Marcel in SouthPark; Brewers at 4001 Yancey in Lower South End; Civetta Italian Kitchen in Stonecrest; The Dunavant in South End; forchetta in Uptown, and Napa at Kingsley in Fort Mill.
Restaurant weeks were few and far between across the nation in 2008. Now, they are an expected feature. Unlike some cities, whose restaurant weeks are run by tourism bureaus, Charlotte’s is a private venture run by Hensley Fontana, a public relations firm based in Charlotte. Their success resulted in Melbourne, Florida reaching out to launch Space Coast Restaurant Week, which took place in March and will return in August.
“There were less than two dozen restaurant weeks nationwide, and the last count we had, there were over 150 now,” founder Bruce Hensley said.
What began as an event only in Mecklenburg County has expanded to Union, Cabarrus, Rowan, Iredell, Lincoln, Gaston, Catawba and York.
“When we started out in July of 2008, we started out with 42 restaurants in Mecklenburg County only,” Hensley said. “Our learning curve was 90 degrees, because the restaurants didn’t know what restaurant week was. The dining public didn’t know. The sponsors didn’t know. The media partners didn’t know. The general media didn’t know. So we had a five-prong learning curve at 90 degrees. As it’s grown, people look forward to it and anticipate it now. That’s the biggest difference.”
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