The menus have been created, tables are set, take-out containers are at hand, and the serving staffs are ready to welcome you.
The first-ever Taste of Tri-Cities celebration is about to begin. All that’s left for you to do is choose a restaurant to kick off the culinary adventure, which includes some of the finest establishments the region has to offer.
From Feb. 15 to Mar. 19, a collection of 50+ pubs, restaurants, and take-out establishments will be serving up their best to customers, delivering an array of cuisines - from steak and seafood to pizza and high tea cakes and sweets.
Presented by the Tri-Local Collective, a local group of business boosters that includes the Tri-Cities Chamber of Commerce, this event aims to encourage diners to support local restaurants that have not only weathered the business downturn brought on by the pandemic, but are also entering the slowest quarter of the calendar in terms of customer traffic.
“Our goal is pretty straightforward, and that’s to drive business to local restaurants,” says Stephanie Rennie, the chamber’s director of operations.
“But it’s also designed to raise awareness of some of the smaller establishments.”
To celebrate and entice diners, the participating restaurants have developed special offers for guests who have the option of dining in or ordering take-out meals, both of which will adhere fully to the strictest COVID-19 health protocols.
“The take-out packages will feature dishes that have been freshly made, or ones you can take home with all the ingredients and instructions to cook yourself,” Rennie says. “Some will even come with wine pairing suggestions.”
While many local restaurants have done their best to offer service with reduced capacity and shifted gears and adapted by providing take-out and delivery services, the Taste of Tri-Cities will offer an added boost to their bottom lines.
“They’ve pivoted and switched to incorporate the new health regulations, and most have survived on pretty slim margins. So, anything we can do to further support a service sector that has been one the hardest hit will help,” says Chamber CEO Michael Hind.
An offshoot of supporting the local businesses is the chance to explore new dining options.
“This is a real growth opportunity, as well, for those businesses to build their clientele,” Rennie adds.