A Historical Look at Pittsburgh Restaurant Week

In 2012, after several seasons without an organized restaurant week, Pittsburgh Restaurant Week returned to the city as a semi-annual restaurant week welcoming patrons far and wide to enjoy the diverse establishments which call Pittsburgh home.  Organized as a labor of love by local food blogger Brian McCollum as a project of the Pittsburgh TasteBuds, Pittsburgh Restaurant Week embraces the melting pot of restaurants in our great city in a week-long celebration of dining and food.

The goal of the event is to highlight the numerous and diverse dining options within the community to the greater Pittsburgh region.  Restaurant weeks are designed to help boost business during what is typically a slower time of the year.  Traditionally during restaurant week, restaurants offer dining deals, like prix-fixe meals, to give patrons the opportunity to experience the areas dining landscape without breaking the bank.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Week’s inaugural event in January 2012 launched the rebirth of the program.  Marketed solely via free marketing mediums, the event’s success is attributed to the food bloggers, Twitter users, traditional and social media outlets that provided coverage of the event and generated an overwhelming sense of excitement.  Thirty Pittsburgh-area restaurants participated by offering specials including $20.12 special menu options or fixed-price menus ranging from $15-35 or $20.12 specials.

In addition to week-long dining deals, the first Pittsburgh Restaurant Week featured an invitational dinner for Pittsburgh food bloggers and a special wrap party for participating restaurant.  The kickoff party was added during the second celebration in August 2012 to highlight and preview participants from a Pittsburgh neighborhood.  The Summer 2012 event was produced in partnership with Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project.