Renee Meyer Dean and her family have owned and managed the Acorn Restaurant in Harlem for 13 years and know that January is usually the slowest time of the year for the restaurant industry.
"Everyone's recovering from the holidays and probably overspending and probably overeating, so January is historically a quiet month for the restaurant business," she said.
The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce and Columbia County Convention and Visitors Bureau are hoping to drive traffic to local restaurants with their second annual Columbia County Restaurant Week Jan. 24-30. The event was first held last year after a rough 2020.
"Restaurants went through a tough time with COVID and there are just different challenges for them now," Chamber President/CEO Russell Lahodny said. "For us, it's a way to highlight our core businesses in our backyard."
Twelve restaurants – from casual dining Zaxby's to upscale cuisine like Cork and Flame – will have special items on their menu or deals on regular items during the seven-day event. Dean said the Acorn Restaurant will have free Acorn Cakes, which are fried grits.
The Chamber and CVB are encouraging people to take pictures of their dishes and post them to social media with the hashtag #ColumbiaCountyEats.
Russell Fiveash, co-owner of Ironwood Tavern in Evans, said his business is slightly slower in January, but it's not concerning. His biggest goal for Restaurant Week is to get new customers in the door.
"(I hope customers) see what Columbia County has to offer for food and our regular customers will see some new things on the menu," he said.
Lahodny said the week gives patrons a reason to branch out and try something new.
"Maybe there's a new restaurant that opened up or maybe there's one down the street that you wanted to go to but just haven't yet – this just might be that opportunity to try something new," he said.
Special: Free dessert or Acorn Cakes appetizer (fried grits) with purchase
Specials: Pumpkin Swordfish, Alaskan Halibut, The Game Trio featuring a selection of game meats from the southeast
Special: Free Deep-Fried Snickers with the purchase of Lounge Creation
Specials: Shrimp Po Boy, Truffle & Pig Pizza
$5 Feta Fries
$1 off milkshakes
Buy One Get One lunch Thali from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and Buy One Get One kids meals all week
Lunch combos $13 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday
Free whoopie pie or dessert trifle with dinner tapas purchase from 4 p.m.-closing Tuesday-Saturday
Mystery Box for 4 people for $40
Choose your own for $50
20% off catering platters (one platter per order; delivery $20 if less than $100 order)
This article originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: Columbia County Restaurant Week created to spark business, lure diners