KENOSHA — Restaurant Week in Kenosha kicked off Saturday, and after a tough year, organizers are hoping to show off all the city has to offer.
More than 50 restaurants are participating. Each are offering their own specials and deals, with plenty of curbside or socially distant indoor dining options. It goes through Feb. 28.
"It’s a good excuse to come and support local, it’s a reminder that we have to consciously support our locally owned businesses," said Laura Tyunaitis, the marketing director of Visit Kenosha.
Throughout downtown Kenosha, many businesses are still boarded up from the unrest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. The officer in that case was not charged.
On Saturday, plenty of people were out and about, going in and out of shops in downtown Kenosha.
Kurt Schrader is the general manager of Sazzy B and The Buzz Cafe on 6th Street. The same ownership runs Apis Restaurant around the corner on 56th Street.
"You can kind of tell people are ready to get out," said Schrader. "And we’re making everything as socially distant and safe and clean as possible, making sure all of our customers are comfortable."
According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurant sales went up for the first time in four months in January, but sales are nowhere near pre-pandemic activity.
Rhonda Bell has owned Twisted Cuisine for 15 years, and she says this year could have been the toughest.
"2020, you know we all should have been barely keeping it alive, and everyone totally supported local business, I couldn’t be more proud of what this community has done," Bell said. "You’re going to make me cry. It's emotional."
She says both her loyal and new customers are helping her make it through, and she hopes more new people come back to visit.
"it’s a good way to get people to come in for a good deal, they may have never been here and hopefully they will be a repeat customer," Bell said. "For everything going on in our community, I think we are starting to heal."
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