Editor's Note: After this story was published, the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau considered "whether to extend Charleston Restaurant Week or not," ultimately deciding on the former. The latest story is here.
Charleston Restaurant Week will not be extended, even though the last six days of the popular promotion coincided with the evacuation order issued in anticipation of Hurricane Florence.
The Greater Charleston Restaurant Association last year tacked a few extra days to the prix-fixe menu period, citing disruptions created by Hurricane Irma. But spokeswoman Charlotte Park says the organization “doesn’t have any news to report at this time” for diners who left town before getting their fill of three-course meals.
Unlike in previous years, many Charleston area restaurants this hurricane season stayed open despite a looming storm. Although most tourists couldn’t reach the city during the evacuation period, which ran from last Tuesday through Sunday morning, locals flocked to restaurants, including The Obstinate Daughter, Renzo, Chez Nous and Kwei Fei. Once the threat of Florence had passed, the leading concern for bars and restaurants determined to remain open was running out of food and passion fruit syrup to make hurricane cocktails.
Most recently scheduled for Sept. 5 through Sept. 16, Charleston Restaurant Week is now a twice-yearly program. Although a close examination of associated menus reveals the savings available during Restaurant Week are slim to nil, many local diners wait for the deal to take effect before trying out new restaurants.
Restaurant and bar owners who lost huge amounts of revenue to Florence clearly hope the abbreviation of Restaurant Week won’t dissuade diners from patronizing their businesses. Xiao Bao Biscuit on Sunday night used its Instagram account to simultaneously announce its reopening and solicit “private part(ies), cocktail (and) charity events.”
“Now that Charleston is collectively returning to normalcy, take a second to consider the places that stayed open to serve you this past week,” Second State Coffee on Monday morning posted to its Instagram account. “We could have taken vacations just like many did when the evacuations were issued, but the truth is, we love to serve.”