Crisp white linen and twinkling crystal are standard décor at Shalimar, the Indian restaurant located at 307 S. Main St., but recently, the upscale scene was interrupted by the addition of a large purple poster advertising the upcoming Ann Arbor Restaurant Week.
Shalimar is one of 49 eateries participating in this year’s event, which starts Sunday and ends next Friday. Binod Dhakal, Shalimar’s manager, as well as other local business owners, said they are looking forward to the opportunity to attract community members to their restaurants.
“People come on Restaurant Week who have never been to our restaurant before,” he said. “I have some people who came from last Restaurant Week … now (they are) regulars.”
To attract new customers, participating establishments will offer a limited selection of items from their full menu at discounted prices. Select lunch entrées will be available for $12 and a dinner entrée can be purchased for $25 at most participating Restaurant Week businesses. For both meals, the number of courses varies by restaurant.
Though Main Street establishments are a central part of the event, businesses like Mani Osteria and Pacific Rim — both located on East Liberty Street — are also participating in Restaurant Week.
Adam Baru, owner of Mani Osteria, said menus for the event are carefully selected by each restaurant to highlight each establishment’s unique offerings. This will be Mani Osteria’s second Restaurant Week since opening last May, as they participated in Ann Arbor’s June Restaurant Week last summer. Baru added it has been an effective way to attract new customers.
“Restaurant Week is a wonderful thing for the community,” Baru said. “It gives people an opportunity to go out and maybe try a restaurant they’ve never gone to before, and it gives the restaurant a chance to put its best foot forward.”
Baru continued, “We’re always excited about Restaurant Week. There will be a lot of new faces that come through, which is always great, as well as a lot of our regulars as well.”
Thomas McKee, the manager of Pacific Rim, said he hopes students will take advantage of the lower food prices to experience the restaurant, adding that the business boasts an unusually large menu for the event. The business plans to offer five appetizers and five entrées.
“(Restaurant Week) kind of lets the students see what we’re all about … they see what we’re able to offer, they see how good our food is, how good our atmosphere (is) and our service,” McKee said. “We tried to make the experience as representative of what we’re normally doing as is possible.”