The Newport Beach restaurant industry has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants were forced to close in March of 2020, which started a downward spiral during which restaurants shifted to takeout, then inside dining, then patio dining, then takeout, then back to outdoor dining, and now a combination of patio and indoor dining.
It’s surprising that Newport Beach only saw a handful of restaurants close permanently over the past year. Most survived, some barely hanging on until the culinary calvary arrived.
Newport Beach restaurants were buoyed by a special Restaurant Month last September designed to drive traffic to local restaurants. The month of dining promotions did indeed help sustain restaurants.
Newport Beach has traditionally held a popular Restaurant Week every January, but Covid-closures forced a postponement of the 2021 Restaurant Week.
Now that coronavirus statistics are trending down and Orange County is in the less restrictive Orange Tier in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, Dine Newport Beach and the Newport Beach Restaurant Association have announced the return of the 15th Annual Newport Beach Restaurant Week, April 19 – May 2.
Guests can expect the customary prix-fixe menu from full-service eateries along with specialty dishes, exclusive offers and take-out options from more than 50 local culinary establishments.
“This year’s theme is ‘Dine Local, Support Local,’ and is meant to garner support for our local culinary industry,” Erin Rose, Senior Director of Public Relations for Newport Beach & Co. (the entity that helps promote Restaurant Week), told the Newport Beach Restaurant Association Board of Directors during their March board meeting. “This year, we’re being more flexible than ever in tailoring participation to restaurant needs. We have a customary prix fixe menu option, pus specialty items, take-out offers, and more. It’s designed to give more options to guests.”
For the first-time, all participating restaurants and their offerings will be housed in the NBRW Pass, a one-stop digital dining directory (available on computers and mobile devices) for Newport Beach Restaurant Week. After signing up at VisitNewportBeach.com/Restaurant-Week, guests can view participating restaurants, available offers and special menus.
“We know you are doing well on weekends, but midweek maybe not so much,” said Doug McClain, Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer for Newport Beach & Co. “We wanted to make this customizable for restaurants so you can create any special offer midweek or weekends. That’s the beauty of this dine pass. It’s designed to impact your business when you need it the most.”
“We encourage all Newport Beach eateries to join in on the event and we want to express our sincerest gratitude to the community for their continued outpouring of support of our local restaurant industry,” said Carlos Godinez, President of the Newport Beach Restaurant Association.
According to Rose, the NBRW pass is “user friendly—the info is at guest’s fingertips.”
Her statement is true. The pass is straightforward to download, and simple to use. The menus are easy to find, as are prices, addresses, and restaurant contact info.
Diners are encouraged to visit www.VisitNewportBeach.com/Restaurant-Week to sign up for the NBRW Pass.
For more information, please visit www.visitnewportbeach.com/dinenewportbeach.
See related Restaurant Story in the Off the Menu column in our Eat+Drink section