CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Pawtucket and Central Falls are teaming up to host “Restaurant Weeks” in an effort to help businesses impacted by the pandemic.
The event kicked off Friday and runs through Sept. 19 and dozens of restaurants in both cities are participating.
“We always look for every opportunity to support our local businesses and with so many new and exciting ways to celebrate, we encourage you to take advantage of everything Pawtucket has to offer,” Pawtucket Mayor Donald Grebien said.
Despite the recent uptick in COVID cases, restaurant owners like Julio Calderon of Good Fellas Tavern in Central Falls are hoping patrons will stop in for a meal.
Calderon said he opened his restaurant in June and has been struggling to not only hire enough employees to keep his business up and running, he’s also finding it difficult to get patrons in the door.
“It’s tough,” Calderon said, adding that his restaurant is currently open only five days a week due to the worker shortage.
Down the road, Taqueria Lupita owner Bertina Ramos tells 12 News she’s experiencing similar issues.
“I hope everything gets better like everything else or like this thing goes away but we know it’s not going to happen,” she said.
Both Calderon and Ramos are hoping with an event like Restaurant Weeks, residents will have more of a reason to stop by.
“I made this restaurant with my heart, so I hope people come out and enjoy,” Calderon said.
For lifetime Central Falls resident David Hincapie, who owns his own clothing line, supporting local restaurants is a no brainer.
“When you’re born and raised in the city, there’s not that much going on for the city outside of what it’s known for,” he said.
- Click here for a list of participating restaurants in Pawtucket.
- Click here for a list of participating restaurants in Central Falls.
Restaurant Weeks also includes a social media challenge, which encourages those who visit participating restaurants to post a picture of their visit on social media using the #PCLocalEats hashtag. Once posted, they will be entered for the chance to win a variety of gift cards, including the $250 gift card grand prize.
“We all need to continue to support our beloved restaurants and celebrate the diverse cultures found throughout our cities,” Central Falls Mayor Maria Rivera said. “We’re excited to see our residents and visitors discover something new and share their unforgettable experience during our social media challenge.”