To celebrate restaurant week, several local agencies are putting on a new event this year.

The City of Norman, the Chamber of Commerce, VisitNorman and local restaurants have partnered to announce the launch of #eatNORMAN week, a new event that will look to celebrate Norman’s culinary scene from July 3-12.

The inaugural event will give residents the opportunity to enjoy some wonderful local food with special price points and offerings throughout the week, Scott Martin, president of the Norman Chamber of Commerce, said.

This event comes at a crucial time for restaurants amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as the industry has been through challenging times over the last three months, Martin said.

“Many, if not most, (restaurants) are back on their feet and trying to do their best to get back to some semblance of normalcy, even in light of additional safety protocols and things that are now in place,” Martin said. “We are now encouraging dine-in, carry-out, curbside, delivery, any options that restaurants might have, we are encouraging all of those.”

Martin said restaurants are going to try to give customers multiple dining options to encourage safety while supporting local businesses.

“Many restaurants are finding themselves in a difficult spot, and the more that we can do to support them in safe ways, the better,” Martin said.

Sergio Garcia, owner of Sergio’s Italian Bistro, said they will have food and drink specials for most dining options, including those who wish to use curbside and takeout.

“Our lobby is open, but we have a patio and that will be open too,” Garcia said.

Bo Salois, owner and head brewer at Crossed Cannons Brewery said they will be participating with a beer flight special, where customers can pick any four beers of their choosing. Salois said his business, which just opened on Memorial Day, has been steady and hopes this event will maintain that trend.

“We knew with COVID-19 hitting we were going to feel a strain on what we can do with everyone being cautious, but things are steady and we are pretty pleased so far,” Salois said. “We have a naturally shaded patio on the side of the building facing Boyd (St.), so you have the scene of the OU campus right in front of you.”

Gerry Reardon, owner and chef at El Toro Chino Latin+Asian Kitchen, said they are excited to be a part of this during a time where it's important to support local businesses. Reardon said he foresees more people staying in town during this time than in years past, and while he has seen a decrease in dining room business during the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, takeout is still going strong.

“We have three spaces (in the lot) that are dedicated to takeout, and we always have somebody working that is just dedicated to takeout orders, so that expedites the process during this time,” Rearson said.

Martin said residents can visit eatnormanrestaurantweek.com for a list of participating restaurants. Businesses can also visit the website to fill out information if they wish to be a part of this promotion.

Jeff Elkins

517-1933

Follow me @JeffElkins12

Jelkins@Normantranscript.com

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