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RESTAURANT WEEK BEGINS

Two-week promotion starts Sunday; features four price points

LISA CAPITELLI ¦ Assistant Editor


Nick Lobue displays Giuseppe O’Leary’s lasagna dish on Tuesday at the restaurant, located on Sunset Avenue in West Ocean City. The Italian eatery is one of 20 establishments participating in Ocean City’s fall Restaurant Week promotion, which begins Sunday and runs through Oct. 28. 
OCEAN CITY TODAY/LISA CAPITELLI Nick Lobue displays Giuseppe O’Leary’s lasagna dish on Tuesday at the restaurant, located on Sunset Avenue in West Ocean City. The Italian eatery is one of 20 establishments participating in Ocean City’s fall Restaurant Week promotion, which begins Sunday and runs through Oct. 28.OCEAN CITY TODAY/LISA CAPITELLI(Oct. 12, 2012) Ocean City’s fall Restaurant Week organizers made a few changes last year and the new format was appealing to both diners and restaurateurs.

Before the tweaks in 2011, resort restaurants featured twoand three-course lunch and dinner menus for $20 and $30, respectively, for one week in the fall. Last year, at the request of diners, the fall promotion ran for two weeks. They felt one week was not enough time to visit participating restaurants.

“Mostly everyone seemed to love the two weeks, so we’re going to keep it at two weeks, but move [the promotion] to later in October,” Susan Jones, executive director of the Hotel- Motel-Restaurant Association, said after the 2011 event, held Oct. 2-16.

Along with giving diners another week to check out additional establishments, the 2011 event provided them with more choices. Different price points — $10, $20, $30 and $40 — were created in order to include some of the HMRA’s smaller restaurants that do not offer “fine” dining.

“It’s all about helping our members get business,” Jones said this week. “The promotion stimulates the local economy.”

The 2012 fall promotion kicks off Sunday and runs through Oct. 28. Twenty restaurants are participating. A majority of the establishments will feature one or two price points.

“Bonus Bites & Beverages” will again be incorporated into Restaurant Week. It allows participants to include something extra for guests. Three restaurants will offer the additional promotion.

Whiskers Pub on 118th Street is a first-time Restaurant Week participant.

“It seems like it’s grown and gotten better and better so we’re going to try it out,” said owner Scott Slater. “We’ve heard a lot of positive feedback from restaurants and diners who really enjoy it.”

During the two-week promotion, Whiskers will offer two cheeseburgers with chips and a half-pound of steamed shrimp for $20, Sunday through Thursday. If a couple is dining out, for $30, they add two cups of soup and a dessert to the deal.

By participating, Slater said he hopes to gain new customers and provide an incentive for his loyal patrons to dine out during Restaurant Week.

Giuseppe O’Leary’s, on Sunset Avenue in West Ocean City, is also a first-time participant. Guests can choose a soup or salad, one of three entrees and a dessert for $10.

“We’re looking forward to it. It sounds like it’s a fun thing,” said Sue Lobue, owner of the restaurant with her son, Nick and husband, Tom.

Lobue hopes the promotion will attract new diners to the restaurant.

“Everybody that comes in describes the restaurant as cozy,” she said “Once people come here, they always come back.”

After attending a conference in Baltimore, Jones pitched the idea for Restaurant Week to the HMRA board of directors, citing its success in other parts of the country. They loved the idea. The first spring Ocean City Restaurant Week took place in 2007. Because the spring campaign was so successful, a fall Restaurant Week was added. It has also proven to be prosperous.

To view a list of participating restaurants and their promotion menus, visitwww.OceanCityRestaurantWeek.com. The restaurants’ regular menus will be available, as well. Reservations are not required, but are encouraged.

Diners who visit at least two participating restaurants can mail receipts (include e-mail address and phone number) to Ocean City Today, 8200 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, Md. 21842 for the chance to win a $100 gift certificates to one of the participating establishments. Entries must be postmarked by Nov. 9. Winner will be drawn on Nov. 12 and contacted by e-mail or phone.

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