3Qs: Debbie Brangenberg

BRANGENBERG

BRANGENBERG

For the second year, the Downtown Tupelo Main Street Association will host Restaurant Week, where different eateries will offer daily specials, discounts and new menu items the week of Sept. 23-27. Eight downtown restaurants, all Main Street members, will participate this year: Bar-B-Q by Jim, Cafe 212, Fairpark Grill, Papa V’s, Park Heights, Simply Sweet by Margarete, the Stables Downtown Grill and Tea for T’Arts.

Daily Journal food editor Ginna Parsons spoke with Debbie Brangenberg, executive director of DTMSA, about this year’s event.

Q. How did Main Street come up with the idea for Restaurant Week?

A. Blair Hughes, owner of Park Heights Restaurant and 2012 Chair of the DTMSA Promotions Committee, was following other communities across the country holding Restaurant Weeks and wanted to plan one for downtown Tupelo. About the same time, DTMSA program associate and staff “foodie” Allie West came back with information from two travel experiences where it was Restaurant Week. Member restaurants were invited to participate and Downtown Restaurant Week was born.

Q. How were downtown businesses affected by last year’s inaugural event?

A. Overall, most of the restaurants that participated reported increased sales and new customers. The week proved to be a positive event for the downtown area with room to expand and enhance the downtown dining experience.

Q. Tell me about the charitable cause part of Restaurant Week. Why did you decide to add that this year?

A. All charities need to raise funds for their individual causes. Each participating restaurant nominated a charity of their choice and the community voted via Facebook for the top three that would appear on the ballot. Those chosen were Saints’ Brew, Sanctuary Hospice House and Tupelo-Lee Humane Society. These names will be placed on a ballot during Restaurant Week. Patrons dining at participating member restaurants will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite charity. The charity receiving the most votes during Restaurant Week will win $300. This is just another way for downtown to give back to the community as well as a great cross-promotion for the charities and member restaurants participating in Downtown Restaurant Week.