Sunderland’s first ever Restaurant Week, which will showcase the city’s transforming food and drink scene, has been announced for September.
Running from Saturday, September 24 until Sunday, October 2, restaurants from across the city will be showcasing their unique flavours, offering special two and three course menus for £10 or £15 as part of Eat Drink Sunderland Restaurant Week, which aims to shine a light on Sunderland’s expanding restaurant scene in and outside of the city centre. The week will also see cafes have their chance to shine, with a £5 daytime offer, encouraging visitors to explore a number of new eateries and rediscover traditional cake shops that have been part of the fabric of Sunderland for many years.
The nine-day event, which is being led by Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID), with support from a number of Sunderland business partners, is a tried and tested initiative. Launched in New York in 2010 and since adopted as annual events in cities across the world, Restaurant Weeks provide an opportunity for cafes, diners and restaurants to attract new customers, as well as showing off the complete offer of towns and cities.
Ken Dunbar, chief executive of Sunderland BID, said that he hoped that people who live, work, study and play in the city would all get behind the initiative and take the opportunity to visit somewhere new or revisit an old favourite.
“Sunderland’s food and drink scene has seen something of a renaissance over the past few years, with a large number of new restaurants opening their doors and offering something different,” he said.
“We are lucky enough to have a wide variety of restaurants which cater for every kinds of cuisine, from the authentic flavours of the East at The Funky Indian and Papadoms to the offerings for meat lovers at restaurants such as a Holy Smokes and Port of Call.”
“Eat Drink Sunderland Restaurant Week provides the perfect platform for Sunderland’s cafes and restaurants to raise the profile of their business and attract an increase in customers during the week.
“We hope the initiative will encourage people to come into the city and discover the range of restaurants that they can visit for every occasion, from places for business lunches to nights out with friends.”
He added: “Many of the cafés, bars and restaurants in Sunderland are independently owned, making it feel very different from the typical city centre high street.
“We are hoping that Restaurant Week will be a platform for people to recognise the lively restaurant scene in the city and that they will return to enjoy their new found favourites time and time again.”
Would-be diners will be able to log on to the BID’s website during the week to find out about the offers available, and download a city centre map, as well as an online copy of Eat Drink Sunderland, a magazine that showcases some of the cafes and eateries both in the city centre and around the city. Restaurants including Port of Call, Saucy Burger and The Karbon Grill have signed up already.
Gary Hutchinson, commercial director at Sunderland AFC and chair of Sunderland Business Partnership, which is backing the week said: “Eat Drink Sunderland Restaurant Week is a fantastic opportunity to show off all that the entire city has to offer when it comes to food and drink – from Washington to Houghton and the seafront to the suburbs.
“Sunderland has massively upped its game over the last few years, and we have some stunning eateries that offer excellent food and a great experience – not only the most recent additions to the scene, but some of the established venues we have here like Angelos, Luciano and Moti Raj in the city centre to Gabriele’s, Fiume and The Scullery in the other areas of the city. Our very own Karbon Grill is one of the places keen to show off its cuisine and service, so we are right behind the initiative, and we have great support across the city with many more places both in the city centre and beyond keen to jump on board and make this a great success.”
Those who eat out during the week are encouraged to share their food pictures and talk about their meal using the hashtag #EatDrinkSunderland in social media posts. Anyone who posts a positive review on social media and uses the hashtag during the week will be in with a chance of winning a VIP table for four at the city’s newly opened Karbon Grill in the Hilton Garden Inn, tucking in at the exclusive chef’s table.
More information about Restaurant Week can be found at Sunderland BID’s website www.experienceithere.co.uk. You can also keep up to date by following @SunderlandBID as well as liking the BID’s Facebook page.
Eateries keen to sign up can contact Sunderland BID on 0191 562 3130 or email@example.com if they are based in the city centre, or Creo Communications on 0191 562 3134 or firstname.lastname@example.org for those in other parts of the city.