By Juliana Dong ’26
PHOTO COURTESY OF OPEN TABLE
Many who live around West Chester are familiar with Restaurant Week. Starting Feb. 26, West Chester will host restaurant week, which is an excellent opportunity to support local restaurants and explore a new palate. West Chester Business Improvement District’s (BID) Executive Director, John O’Brien, said, “This is an opportunity for restaurants to gain more business, especially during the slow season.” The BID is a municipal authority established under state law to help downtown West Chester financially. Restaurant Week falls under their second goal—customer attraction. West Chester is known as a premier destination for dining. Even though the week is used as a way for restaurants to gain more exposure, it also helps in marketing for the borough of West Chester as a whole. When asked about his role in the week, O’Brien explained that he managed a staff of three, whose goals were to advertise the event and educate locals, coordinate details with the restaurants, and get necessary information regarding the event out to the public.
The tradition of Restaurant Week is a new initiative that started in 2021. Before the 21st century, West Chester wasn’t the vibrant, bustling place it is today. With business slowing down due to COVID-19, the Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant promoted their businesses at a similar event in Philadelphia. Naturally, a move in the direction of something similar was created in order to show what West Chester has to offer.
O’Brien described Restaurant Week as a “fun-filled event that gives customers an opportunity to try different flavors and different restaurants that they might not have not tried before.” Currently, 23 restaurants are participating in the event, including Barnaby’s of West Chester and Iron Hill Brewery
Restaurant. This week is made with the intention of allowing small restaurants to grow by giving customers a special menu only offered throughout the week, allowing customers to visit many of the 23 restaurants without having to pay a higher price for each restaurant.
Not only does BID boost its myraid of restaurants during Restaurant Week, but it also encourages customers to check out the surrounding “vibrant retail community” and to “support small businesses.”
West Chester’s Restaurant Week is meant to provide a beneficial opportunity for those involved—including businesses and customers. Through this event, not only will restaurants have a chance to expand their business, but also West Chester residents will be able to gain a new understanding of local businesses.