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Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 05/14/2009

Kids' Restaurant Week Comes to D.C. in June

By Julia Beizer

Imagine Art & Soul's dining room -- filled with kids. (Olivia Boinet)

The first batch of restaurants has been announced for the Cookie + Gourmet Kids' Restaurant Week, a new local promotion that will give families the opportunity to nosh on three-course meals at a discounted price. Art & Soul, Cafe du Parc, Firefly, Juniper at the Fairmont, Mie N Yu and Zola are among the participating establishments, and organizers expect at least 20 to sign on for the event that runs from June 13-21. (See this link for the complete -- as of now -- and ever-growing list of restaurants.)

The promotion works like this: From 5 to 7 p.m., the restaurants will offer a three-course, fixed-price meal for both kids and adults. Adults (and children over 12) pay $29; kids 11 and younger pay their age. Each restaurant will handle the promotion differently, but the idea is to expose children to new flavors and, of course, the itty bit of theater that can be involved the fine dining experience.

"You drop that name [Kids' Restaurant Week] into a market and it just explodes," says Amy Newman, associate publisher of Cookie magazine. "People get it intuitively." The magazines launched the event as a pilot program in Chicago last summer and it was an instant hit. The 20 participating eateries sold more than 6,000 meals specifically for the promotion. According the Newman, the restaurants enjoyed the partnership for the opportunity to bring in new diners. "Some people who came in at the beginning of the week came in again" at the end, she reports.

Destination DC approached the magazines about launching the event in our town this year. "D.C. is obviously a great destination for families but we also have great restaurants and chefs," said Victoria Isley, the group's senior vice president of marketing and communications. The nonprofit saw this partnership as an opportunity to "put the spotlight on our restaurant community" and will act as a sponsor.

The promotion will kick off on June 13 with a day-long event at Eastern Market that features cooking demonstrations and food tastings. Some proceeds from dinner sales will benefit Eastern Market and Miriam's Kitchen.

For several local school districts, the academic year winds down just as Kids' Restaurant Week gets going. "It's a great opportunity for kids and families to celebrate a good report card -- or maybe just the start of summer," said Isley.

-- Julia

By Julia Beizer  | May 14, 2009; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  
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