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Kenosha ready for new faces during 4th annual Restaurant Week

Posted at 10:28 AM, Feb 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-19 17:52:35-05

KENOSHA -- Downtown Kenosha is ready for its 4th annual Restaurant Week but it's about more than just good food at good prices. 

There will be 21 restaurants participating in the yearly food frenzy. However, it's also a great opportunity for the businesses too. 

"It's traditionally the worst week in Wisconsin to go anywhere really," Riki Tagliapietra, Co-owner of the Buzz Cafe said. "We've had great weather this year but in this area, it's the worst numbers of the year."

Tagliapietra says February can be brutal as a restaurant owner. So with the extra incentive to bring people out of hibernation, they're really thriving. 

"It's crazy," Tagliapietra said. "It's packed from the moment we open until the moment we close. It's exciting meeting new people and showing off what we do."

He's not the only one. Even at places like Frank's Diner, a Kenosha institution for decades, Restaurant Week is welcomed with open arms during a lean February season.

"We had a packed diner both Saturday and Sunday for our $10 specials for both breakfast and lunch," Julie Rittmiller, co-owner of Frank's Diner said. "This is one of the best things that could happen for us for February."

"We have a lot of regular customers," Janis Barnhill, Co-owner of the Coffee Pot said. "During restaurant week, we see a lot of new faces walk through the door. It's an opportunity to meet some people and show them what we do."

It's not just a chance for the restaurants to show off but also, Downtown Kenosha in general. 

"When people venture into Kenosha, they really are surprised at how cool it is," Barnhill said. 

A lot has changed from its industrial past. Laura Tyunaitis with the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau says it's really blossomed in the last decade. 

"We've had to rebrand," Tyunaitis said. "We use dto be a manufacturing community and people still think of American Motors being here and things like that. To see this dining destination and arts and cultural center is really special. It's good for other businesses, the restaurants, museums, shops, all to have extra people down here. It brings people and introduces them to what we have to offer on the lakefront. You can spend nine days having an adventure here through your stomach."

Downtown Kenosha Restaurant Week runs until Feb. 25. For more information on which restaurants are participating and what is on their menus, check out