First-ever Restaurant Week boosts business after pandemic stalls

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Monday marked the start of the first-ever Rochester Restaurant Week, a week-long celebration of Rochester’s diverse dining scene with more than 30 participating restaurants. However, the city has recently seen a number of classic restaurants close their doors.

Joe Ward, president of Experience Rochester, said: “It’s the slow time of year, business is always low after the holidays, but also coming out of the pandemic, it’s still going to take some time to get more people in. The crowd you’re looking for.” “We just thought it would be a great way to support it and hopefully it’s the start of many years,”

Newts said that in 2020, downtown has had a hard time recovering from reduced foot traffic, which has resulted in restaurants having to close. However, another location in North Rochester has benefited greatly from Restaurant Week.

“I think it raises awareness that there are a lot of great restaurants out there, some new and some that’ve been here for a long time, so it’s really an invitation for people to go out and check out old favorites or check out new ones It’s just one thing for something so long this week,” Ward said.

Otori Sushi owner Sami Lo, who also attended Restaurant Week, said they were fully booked today and she is confident this week will help her business.

“Our business is slowly getting better every day, we do a lot of social media to promote our restaurant so people can know we’re here, we’re open, we’re doing sushi and a lot of different kinds of food, so we’re Back to normal business,” Luo said.

Luo said that because her restaurant also has a drive-through service, it has saved her business from the pandemic. Lo explained that her restaurant still has customers who don’t want to go in.

“Rochester, like many cities across the country, has gone through its fair share of struggles during this pandemic, but it’s once again an attractive neighborhood and we continue to encourage locals to return to downtown or work remotely, we said, Hey, you know, coming back downtown for dinner or lunch, really looking forward to seeing everyone and getting back on track to support everyone in the future,” Ward said.

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