Center City Restaurant Week returns as establishments continue to recover from the pandemic

Philadelphia’s restaurants are hoping you’ll give them a try as Center City’s Restaurant Week makes its return as establishments are still recovering from the pandemic.

Reyna Gonzolez and her best friend could not wait for Restaurant Week this year, because with more than 90 restaurants on the list, there’s so much to choose from.

"I’m excited to celebrate the city!" exclaimed Gonzolez. "You have to try more restaurants. That’s the point of it. You do a little dabble here, do a little dabble there and have a good time."


A lot of folks, like Genevieve Anderson, are just starting to really get back out there, after the pandemic. "For a while, we were just doing takeout and stuff and now we’re getting back to going out to restaurants. So, Cuba Libre is definitely one of those places. We don’t go all the time, so it’s definitely just a fun thing to do during restaurant week."

"I think it’s going to be a great experience with people not only coming in and experiencing something new, but going through the three courses and not having to spend $1 million," GM of Cuba Libre, Aaron Bowers, explained. "You know, everybody has been financially hurt over these past couple of years."

Everybody including the restaurant industry. But, beginning Sunday, they are also getting hit with a four percent statewide increase on wine and liquor, something Bowers says is the last thing any business needs.

"If we can make it through the pandemic…hopefully, this will only be temporary," Bowers added.

Over at Amada, they’re also celebrating restaurant week, while trying to cope with the rise in prices.

"All of the inflation around everywhere is really difficult to deal with and the wine and spirits is part of it," Amada Service Manager, Amber Brantley, said. "I mean, we expected it to a degree, but it is disappointing, because, you know, as soon as you feel like you’re catching up, there’s something else that happens."

Brantley says the pandemic hit the industry so hard, but this year’s restaurant week is truly a bright spot. "It’s exciting that it’s back the way that it used to be. Honestly, before the restrictions, before everything went crazy, it feels like it used to. It’s just really nice to get back to it."