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Baltimore Winter Restaurant Week Canceled; Howard County Restaurant Weeks Move Ahead (BBJ Story)


There won't be a Winter Restaurant Week in Baltimore this year — but organizers of the event are still urging diners to throw their support behind local restaurants.

Visit Baltimore and the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore announced this week that the promotion will be put on hold for the season. Winter restaurant week usually takes place in January and offers reduced prices and prix-fixe specials to encourage dining out during a traditionally slow time for restaurants.

This year, amid a surge in Covid-19 cases and a new round of limitations aimed at slowing the spread of the virus, asking restaurants to lower their prices didn't feel right, organizers said. In Baltimore City, restaurants have been limited to carryout and delivery services since Dec. 11, and Mayor Brandon M. Scott said Friday that the on-premise dining suspension will continue at least one more week.

Instead of restaurant week specials, Visit Baltimore and the Downtown Partnership have crafted a new "Rally Around Restaurants" campaign that focuses on promoting local eateries. The campaign's messaging also highlights what local diners can do to help their favorite restaurants, such as ordering takeout and delivery often, placing orders directly with restaurants instead of through third-party apps, purchasing gift cards and tipping generously.

In Howard County, meanwhile, Winter Restaurant Weeks promotions are scheduled to move ahead. The county's tourism agency announced Monday that restaurant weeks will be held in Howard from Jan. 18-31 with curbside pick-up, delivery and dine-in specials. Indoor dining is still allowed in the county at limited capacity.