Source, The Times Herald, Gary Puleo
UPPER MERION — Like the restaurants themselves, King of Prussia District’s 2021 Restaurant Week has adapted to an unusual year with some spirited adjustments.
How does your own private, heated igloo sound for that restaurant dining experience you may have been missing?
Or how about an outdoor tent where you can enjoy a takeout meal for a welcome change of scenery?
Fueled by increased sponsorship and a charitable motive, the seventh annual KoP Restaurant Week runs longer than it has in previous years, Sunday to Thursday, April 11 through 15 and April 18 through 22, with menu deals from 33 eateries and offers multiple dining options “to help restaurants rebuild and accommodate diners regardless of whether they are comfortable dining inside, outside or from home,” noted Rachel Ammon, director of marketing for King of Prussia District, longtime sponsors of Restaurant Week.
“I think people are recognizing the need to support institutions like Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) , and I think people are really excited about the takeout under the tent outdoor dining area that we’re setting up,” Ammon explained. “All reservations are being handled through Open Table and those igloos are booking up fast. The tents will be individual dining tents, with a table and six chairs under each tent, and the igloos are set up more like lounge living room style.”
The outdoor Takeout Under the Tents, is described as “a beautifully lit and landscaped outdoor dining oasis available only during Restaurant Week in the King of Prussia Mall parking lot (Yellow Outer Loop parking lot along Mall Boulevard directly across from the Crowne Plaza Hotel).” Takeout Under the Tents features 12 individual dining tents and four “cozy, heated igloos furnished by AVE King of Prussia.” Diners can pick up their takeout from participating restaurants to enjoy in the space or order delivery directly to the tents through restaurants or a third-party delivery service. Tents will be first come first served, while the igloos must be reserved through OpenTable for a $15 per person donation to CHOP. Masks and social distancing will be strictly enforced, as will a 45-minute time limit per tent/igloo to allow for proper sanitization in between parties. King of Prussia District will also host several attractions in the space.
“The idea is you make your reservation for the igloo, or you can plan to come for the tents, which are first come, first served and before you come you stop at one of the participating restaurants and pick up your take-out and you bring it under the tents, and that’s where you enjoy it. We’ll have live music on Sunday and Thursday nights, so that’ll be a nice time to come socially take advantage of some nice weather and entertainment while you’re enjoying your restaurant week takeout.”
The unique dining options are modeled after an outdoor dining event that took place in Florida last August, Ammon allowed.
“We loved the idea so much that we wanted to try it here,” she said. “And for the first time ever we wanted to include takeout during Restaurant Week. That had never been a part of Restaurant Week, but we feel it’s really important to have different options for people because not everybody is comfortable going out and dining in a restaurant yet. For those that aren’t comfortable with that, we want to encourage them to go to the restaurants to pick up their takeout and enjoy it in this outdoor dining oasis at the mall or you can bring it home and enjoy it in your own home. Either way you can participate in Restaurant Week and help us raise money for CHOP. We’re trying to meet people where they are. Not everybody feels the same way right now about dining out.”
Enjoy live music each Sunday and Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m.: Sunday, April 11 with Homestead Collective; Thursday, April 15 with Joshua Howard; Sunday, April 18 with Emily Drinker; Thursday, April 22 with John Gilbride. Diners must bring takeout from participating restaurants to enjoy the live music.
A Family Fun Day for CHOP is planned for Saturday, April 17, 1 to 4 p.m., which is free and open to the public with a suggested per person donation to CHOP, guests will enjoy games, live performances from Sadie Gustafson (as seen on American Idol) and Roots with Ruark, balloon twisting from former CHOP patient Ben’s Balloon Animals, entertainment donated by Poly the Magician and carnival treats from Sweet Thangs Nut & Candy Truck.
Participating restaurants include Bartaco; Bonefish Grill; Chilli’s Grill & Bar; City Works; Creed’s Seafood & Steaks; Fogo de Chão Brazilian Steakhouse; Founding Farmers; Hammer and Fire; J. Alexander’s Restaurant; Kooma; Maggiano’s Little Italy; Morton’s The Steakhouse; North Italia; Outback Steakhouse; Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar; Pepper’s By Amedeo’s Restaurant & Bar; Revolution Chop House; Savona Restaurant; Seasons 52; Sullivan’s Steakhouse; The Capital Grille; The Melting Pot; Tiffin Indian Cuisine; True Food Kitchen; Yard House; Fast Casual Restaurants; California Tortilla; Chick-fil-A; Dairy Queen; District Taco; honeygrow; Shake Shack; Sushi Sushi; Vitality Bowls; Workhorse Brewing and Workhorse Pizza & Kitchen.
Participating retailers include Amazing Escape Room; BOSS Store; Bury the Hatchet; Ciao Bella Salon & Spa; Expedition Escape; Kendra Scott; Kilwins Chocolate, Fudge & Ice Cream; Kunda Beverage; Luminosity; Pronovias; Roadrunner Sports; Roll by Goodyear; Tantra Salon; Ted Baker; The Escape Game King of Prussia and Vineyard Vines.
KOP Restaurant Week will also feature two-course lunch menus priced at $10, $15 or $20 and three-course dinner menus at $20, $30 or $40 from over 25 of KOP’s restaurants. In addition, 9+ of KOP’s fast casual/quick service restaurants will offer deals and donation days throughout the 10-day period. These generous restaurants, along with the 13+ retailers participating in KOP Shops for CHOP, held concurrently, donate a portion of their proceeds to CHOP.
When planning the 2021 campaign, King of Prussia District opted to waive the restaurant marketing fee, which traditionally offsets about 50 percent of the advertising budget, Ammon noted. The District also made the decision to remove Friday and Saturday from the two-week period to preserve the restaurants’ “bread and butter” nights.
KOP Restaurant Week and KOP Shops for CHOP are presented by SERVPRO of King of Prussia, and supported by Igloo Garden Sponsor AVE King of Prussia; Platinum Sponsors include All Seasons Landscaping and IBEW Local 98; Gold Sponsors include 575 South, Anthology of King of Prussia, Best Western Plus The Inn at King of Prussia, Crave Montco and Monto Makers; and Riley Riper Hollin & Collagreco; Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Sponsor Fusion PPE; Igloo Reservation Partner OpenTable; and In-Kind Sponsors Conlin’s Print, King of Prussia Mall and LytStyx.
In 2020, KOP Restaurant Week and KOP Shops for CHOP was cut short due to the pandemic. However, the campaign still managed to raise $40,000 for CHOP. Since its launch in 2014, the campaign has raised a total of $152,500 for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.