The Tables Are Set! — Arizona Restaurant Weeks: Dine in or Take Out

It has been a rough couple of months for the food and beverage industry. In Arizona, COVID-19 brought about closures in mid-March that threatened the industry to its core. Restaurant owners had to quickly adapt their business models to offer take-out, curbside and delivery options, and some even offered cocktails to go. Some restaurants became community grocery stores, while others served their community by preparing meals for front-line workers and those in need.

The local community stepped up, too, and helped support the restaurants that make up the Valley’s dynamic culinary scene. In addition to ordering pick-up and delivery, residents responded by patronizing special pop-up events, and donating to virtual tip jars in support of workers.

The closure mandates also meant that the annual Arizona Restaurant Week (ARW) event was placed on hold; however, Arizona Takeout Weeks was created to encourage continued dining support. In the midst of all of the upheaval, the Arizona Restaurant Association (ARA) created Arizona Restaurant Strong (www.azrestaurantstrong.com), a relief fund to provide support for restaurant workers who found themselves suddenly out of work.

Roaring Fork

The House Brasserie

Now that closure mandates have expired and regulations begin to lift, the ARA has announced that Arizona Restaurant Weeks: Dine in or Take Out will take place Friday, June 19, through Sunday, June 28, and Friday, Sept. 18, through Sunday, Sept. 27.

In a statement, ARA president and CEO Steve Chucri said, “We are so grateful for the support of our local dining community in the weeks that followed restaurant closures in March. The quick creation of Arizona Takeout Weeks and Arizona Restaurant Strong efforts could not have been possible without them. As Arizona Restaurant Weeks returns in a modified format to include dine-in, take out and liquor to-go options, we are hopeful that our wonderful community of food enthusiasts will continue to show their support in any way they feel comfortable.”

During the new Arizona Restaurant Weeks: Dine in or Take Out, ARA says that participating restaurants will follow all CDC guidelines for opening and social distancing, whether dining in or taking out. The organization is anticipating more than 200 of the Valley’s restaurants — “from five-star fine dining establishments to locally owned and operated ‘mom and pop’ hidden gems” — to get involved.

Participating restaurants around the state will offer diners a dedicated menu that showcases the chefs’ talents. Featuring a unique tasting opportunity apart from their regular menus, restaurants will offer three-course, prix-fixe menus for $33 or $44 per person. Wine pairings to enhance each course are offered at some establishments for an additional cost.

Several new restaurants joining the June ARW line-up this year include The Dressing Room, The House Brasserie, Josephine, Meritage Urban Tavern, Sel, Stonegrill and Tuck Shop Kitchen and Bar. Of course, many of diners’ favorites are returning to the event again this year. A complete list of participating restaurants can be found on the event website: www.arizonarestaurantweek.com.

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