Rockford Region Restaurant Week brings local eats to light starting next week

Entry deadline for restaurants is January 19
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Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 11:33 AM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The City of Rockford and the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACVB) announced the dates for their 2nd annual Rockford Region Restaurant Week.

The local restaurant showcase starts Monday, January 24 and goes through Sunday, January 30. The event highlights establishments offering their most delicious entrees, craft cocktails, and creative carry-out, delivery, and to-go packages for Stateline foodies. Specials include exclusive menu items, themed take-out options, limited-time promotions, and more.

“I cannot wait for our 2nd annual Rockford Region Restaurant Week,” says Mayor Tom McNamara. “We have some incredibly creative and dedicated restaurant owners who prepare exceptionally delicious food and drinks for all of us to enjoy. We are proud to partner with the RACVB on this promotion in gratitude to restaurant owners and workers - who were some of the hardest hit by the pandemic mitigations.”

Local restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and bakeries are encouraged to participate by providing unique deals and experiences for this year’s Restaurant Week and can submit their special deals and experiences by visiting GoRockford.com and completing the online form by January 19th.

The week has an added feature this year giving restaurant the opportunity to win an award as one of the Restaurant Week’s Bests, as voted on by the community. Winners will receive an award and will be included as a “Restaurant Week Best” on a billboard, TV, and social. Awards categories include:

  • Best Bite: The meal with the most flavorful bite.
  • Best Atmosphere and Vibes: A food establishment that showcases the best vibes through lighting, service, and overall experience.
  • Best Restaurant Week Package: The most creative deal, experience, or package.
  • Best Cocktail or Brew: The most creative and tasty beverage. This category includes coffee, cocktails, smoothies, beer, and other freshly served beverages.
  • Best for All: Your favorite food establishment that showcases a welcoming environment for all, defined as a venue that welcomes residents and visitors by creating a sense of belonging.

“We are thrilled to bring back our Rockford Region Restaurant Week to help promote our food & hospitality businesses and bring a fun event for our local foodies,” says John Groh, CEO of the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The upcoming Restaurant week will be a chance for our community and visitors to support local. We encourage all restaurants in Winnebago County to participate.”

As businesses prepare to kick off the second year of restaurant week....shooters bar and grill manager Jamey Funk says they decided to get a bit more creative with the specials they are offering, including burgers topped with cheese curd filled onion rings along with a very unique beer.

“For this one were doing the 815 autism beer ‘different not broken’, and that was a collaboration with us and Church Street Brewing, so all the sales for that go to local autism programs here in Rockford,” Funk states.

Pomodoro in loves park is also participating this year for the first time since it was remodeled. They are offering different varieties of flavorful Italian food. Owner Scott Frank says restaurant week is a great way to bring the community out to see some hidden gems.

“It’s more important now than ever to shop local, to dine local, and to support these small businesses and the great waiters and servers and everyone that’s busting their butt in the kitchen,” Frank expresses.

Funk says he uses local businesses to source the food they cook with because it offers a more fresh and close-to-home flavor with a worthy cause.

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