Many Restaurants Extending Restaurant Week Offerings After Snow
Snow caused some restaurants to close and kept many customers away Wednesday and Thursday.
With Bethesda-Chevy Chase Retaurant Week kicking into high gear, Wednesday evening would normally have been a busy night for Bethesda and Chevy Chase restaurants.
But since the skies opened up with slippery, heavy snowflakes, causing traffic gridlock and widespread power outages, many local restaurants were forced to close and the wintry mess kept most customers away.
Wednesday, we talked with Melody Stone, General Manager of Oakville Grill in the Wildwood Shopping Center. They were getting ready to shut down the restaurant and dismiss the employees for the night. She said that it was too dangerous to allow deliveries, and they had all cancellations for the night. Their sister restaurant, Geppetto, was also closing for the night.
Geppetto and Oakville Grille are among 19 restaurants that are extending their Restaurant Week offerings an extra week because of the bad weather conditions Wednesday and Thursday, according to Stephanie Coppula, a spokeswoman for the Bethesda Urban Partnership, one of the groups coordinating Restaurant Week.
"It's an indicator, obviously if [some restaurants] are going to honor it again next week, then they want to be able to get more people in the door and offer that to the community," Coppula said.
Stone said they had tons of reservations for Friday and Saturday nights but expected “Wednesday and Thursday would have been good” if not for the inclement weather.
However, Stone predicted diners would want to make up for being snowbound by getting out over the weekend.
“[The snow] affected Restaurant Week greatly,” said Diana Dahan, owner of Le Vieux Logis in Bethesda. “I think people start to cancel right when they read reports of snow storms, even before the snow.”
The restaurant was forced to close Wednesday, with about 95 reservations booked.
It was a similar story at La Ferme in Chevy Chase — the restaurant closed Wednesday and Thursday, losing about 100 reservations each day.
Le Vieux Logis was planning on extending Restaurant Week offerings an extra week anyway, but other restaurants — like La Ferme and Grapeseed — decided to extend the offerings an extra week because of the snow. Friday, an answering machine at Grapeseed was announcing that the restaurant was still closed because it was out of power.
Reda Asaad, owner of the new Bistro Lazeez Mediterranean Grill, said Wednesday was “terribly slow — only two tables and two carry-outs the whole day.”
But Asaad was taking it all in stride: “We have to deal with it. We face anything — good weather and bad. We have good food and a good concept, so things will get better.”
The 19 restaurants extending Restaurant Week offerings are:
Le Vieux Logis
Oakville Grille and Wine Bar