Tysons Corner’s first Restaurant Week kicks off next Monday and runs Oct. 12 through Tuesday, Oct. 20.
Guests can eat in or take home food from fixed-price lunch and dinner menus that were designed specifically for Restaurant Week and showcase classic dishes, seasonal options, and fan favorites. The Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce is hosting the event.
Restaurateurs say they hope the week will bring customers back to their establishments after they experience the coronavirus precautions that have been put in place. They also hope that patrons who work and eat lunch in town but do not live there return to Tysons as a destination for foodies.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has obliterated the food service industry, with 37,000 jobs lost in Fairfax County, according to a recent report. The findings are the first step in a recovery strategy commissioned by Fairfax County and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.
Even after restaurants reopened, customers remain uncomfortable dining out.
“We realized that we can’t just open our doors and hope people go through them,” Dane Scott, the managing partner of Seasons 52, said.
Restaurants are taking extreme safety measures, Chamber of Commerce Chair Andrew Clark says.
“The irony is that restaurants are probably the cleanest places in town, but it will take a while for people to assimilate,” he said.
Tony Bass, the general manager of Urban Plates, is ready to change how people view Tysons with Restaurant Week.
“What I’m excited to show is that Tysons is a destination for food,” he said.
People who are dining for the first time since the pandemic started will see that things in the restaurants look different.
At Urban Plates, customers can still observe chefs making their food in the open kitchen, but can no longer approach the chefs, Bass said.
P.F. Chang’s has poured money into presentation, said operating partner Eric Padilla. The plateware is new, and dishes are served with a new flair.
“You’re not able to go to the movies, so we want to put on a show in the dining room,” he said. “Dinner is the main show: Come in, relax, have a good time, and take your mind off what’s going on.”
Scott, who sits on the Chamber of Commerce, said it has stepped up to care for Tysons’ businesses.
When Clark took over as chair this summer, he implemented some new initiatives. The chamber filmed a documentary on food safety and later threw a whisky-tasting event outside American Prime, complete with temperature checks and mask monitors.
Clark credited Restaurant Week taking off to volunteer photographers, videographers, printers and graphic and designers.
“There’s no money to be made,” he said. “They just love the community.”
Image via Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce