Restaurant doors throughout Narragansett will open tonight with a specific aim, to generate public interest in their food. The third annual ‘Narragansett Restaurant Week is about to begin.
Twenty-six local restaurants participate in the restaurant week by giving customers quality meals at discount prices. This year, restaurants in North and South Kingstown and Westerly join prior participants in Narragansett and Wakefield. The variety of restaurants, from the Mediterranean-style dining of Spain’s to the quaint, local seafood of Champlin’s, attracts customers at a time when generating significant revenues is difficult.
“Restaurant Week has been great,” said Jeff Cooke, owner of the Mariner Grille. “Following the winter hibernation, March is a tough month. This week is a great boon.” “This week gives restaurants a good glimpse of the future,” said Deborah Kelso, executive director of the Narragansett Chamber of Commerce. “It let’s them know that ‘hey, we’re going to get through this.’”
Customers can purchase a dinner for two at only $20 if they frequent Charlie O’s Tavern. The Coast Guard House, an iconic restaurant for Narragansett residents, offers a three course lunch for only $13.11 with a choice of items such as New England clam chowder and an early spring vegetable risotto. Restaurants also offer more quirky prices, such as meals for $20.11, reflecting the current year.
The restaurant week not only provides businesses with more customers, but also affords locals the chance to discover places where they might otherwise never eat.
“We have good quality restaurants all over Narragansett, so people have a choice of good prices and good quality,” said Antonio Mollo, owner of Catarina’s Italian Village. “It gives the awareness to people that we are here.”
Local business owners have expressed the need for such continued awareness. They carry great pride in being local and providing quality food. Yet residents will go to Newport or Providence, better advertised overall, to eat at restaurants which provide the same meal quality found at local businesses. The restaurant week aims to generate sustained local interest in restaurants not just in March, but throughout the entire year.
“Some locals go out of town to eat. I don’t know why,” said Mollo. “We have good restaurants here.” The restaurant week is part of a larger effort by the town of Narragansett to develop personal relationships between businesses and local residents. The state and national economy has weakened the success of small business and towns are looking to become fiscally responsible internally. Local support for restaurants is even more vital to the long term financial stability of Narragansett.
Local residents do not, however, have to worry much about such issues. They just need to go out and eat. “[Restaurant Week] is a fabulous deal,” said Kelso. “It is cheaper to go out these ten days than to cook at home and there are more restaurants than ever!”
For more information visit www.narragansettri.com/chamber/ 
Below is a list of participating restaurants for Restaurant Week 2011:
Casey’s Grille and Bar
Catarina’s Italian Village
Charlie O’s Tavern on the Point
Coast Guard House
Cool Beans Café
George’s of Galilee
Markos Kabob and More
Matunuck Oyster Bar
Ocean View Gourmet Chinese
Pelly’s 19th Hole
Rhody Joe’s Saloon
Spain of Narragansett
Shelter Harbor Inn
West Bay Gourmet
For more information including each restaurant’s special menu for the week, visit www.narragansettri.com/chamber