Downtown Dining Week provides glimpse of normalcy during pandemic

Local restaurant benefits from Downtown Dining Week after COVID-19 slump

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Downtown Dining Week has wrapped up and it was a success for some restaurants in Memphis.

The week got off to a good start for Grecian Gourmet Taverna on South Main.

"Sunday was by far the first day that we’ve had all of our restaurant seats filled. Our 50% capacity was full. Our outdoor tables were also full, " said owner JoBeth Graves.

Of course, gyros were on the menu, and much more.

“Greek Mezze boxes, mezze meaning a little bit of everything. Normally, you know, you price it at the year. We decided to price it at $20.21 because everyone is kind of done with 2020,” she said.

2020 has been tough for restaurants everywhere. The pandemic has brought new restrictions and fewer customers.

“What we’re missing the most is our downtown lunch,” said Graves. “We had 80,000 workers that worked down here in the past: Service Master, AutoZone, ALSAC, St. Jude. These were all people that would come for lunch. We would have a line from the register to the door almost every single day.”

Downtown Dining Week was a bit of a pick-me-up. And Graves is looking forward to next year.

“For downtown dining next year I want us to be back on our regular cycle," she said.

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