Kimberley Mares serves Ken Kruse inside Johnny B. Good's Diner in Steamboat Springs last week. The diner, along with several other downtown restaurants and businesses, will take part in Mainstreet Restaurant Week from May 18 to 25.

Photo by John F. Russell

Kimberley Mares serves Ken Kruse inside Johnny B. Good's Diner in Steamboat Springs last week. The diner, along with several other downtown restaurants and businesses, will take part in Mainstreet Restaurant Week from May 18 to 25.

Eateries join forces for Restaurant Week

Event to include food specials, rail jam, block party

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If you go

What: Mainstreet Restaurant Week

When: May 18 to 25; rail jam is 1 to 4 p.m. May 23 on Seventh Street

What: Specials at restaurants across town, a block party and rail jam event

— Local restaurants are urging residents to put forks to plates during Mainstreet Restaurant Week this month.

The idea, Mike Lang said, is to draw people together to support Steamboat Springs businesses. The owner of Harwigs/L'Apogee also wouldn't mind if visitors from the Front Range or other areas motored in to take advantage of the deals. A block party and rail jam in front of the Urbane clothing store and the new Ghost Ranch Saloon on Seventh Street will cap the week May 24.

"I'm trying to get the community to unite on a subject matter that is important to all of us, which is to keep our businesses open," Lang said.

Mainstreet Steamboat Springs is organizing the event, and Urbane co-owners Mel LeBlanc and Trent Kolste have put together the rail jam. Some restaurants will offer three-course meals for $20 to $25 and all will have specials, Lang said. Diners also will receive coupons for businesses near the restaurants.

The restaurant participant list is in the works, Mainstreet Manager Tracy Barnett said. She expects the event to be well-received.

"We are hoping to do it twice a year, spring and fall," she said. "These are really popular all over the country."

5280 magazine in Denver organizes one every year, Barnett said.

"It really works well in Denver because 5280, what they did was dinner for two for $52.80," she said, adding that it probably wouldn't work to offer two dinners for $66.95, referring to Steamboat's elevation.

Instead, restaurants are offering lower-cost deals. For example, Old West Steakhouse will offer a flat iron steak for $16.95, Barnett said. Restaurants will donate 1 percent of sales for the week to the LIFT-UP of Routt County's food bank, according to information Lang provided.

Joe Schuetz, general manager of The Boathouse Pub, said his restaurant plans to participate. The Boathouse will do a three-course special, but he hasn't decided what it will include. The restaurant hopes to gain recognition by participating, Schuetz said.

"I'm hoping to get an increase of business and pulling in some people from the Front Range, as well as from Laramie (Wyo.) and getting some good publicity," he said.

The May 24 block party and skateboard rail jam will provide another opportunity to get feet on downtown streets. That event will be on Seventh Street south of Lincoln Avenue, in front of Urbane and the Ghost Ranch, a music venue and restaurant.

It will include music and booths for nonprofit groups and businesses that offer outdoor activities, Barnett said. Organizations can sign up for a booth to give information to locals and visitors. Steamboat Flyfisher has agreed to do demonstrations, for example.

The event will be different from the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association's activity fair, Barnett said.

"That is geared toward concierges, front desks, that sort of thing," she said, "and this one is geared to people - people who would use these services."

Groups or businesses interested in participating can call Barnett at 846-1800. Ghost Ranch, which is scheduled to open that weekend, will offer a Saturday happy hour and drink specials, she said.

Lang said it was all a push to drive people to come downtown, have fun and spend money locally. The block party also will help Steamboat show off its warm-weather activities, he said.

"We're trying to show Steamboat is a great place to come in the summertime," Lang said.

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