- The Washington Times - Monday, January 14, 2002

District restaurateurs are going back for seconds. After a successful run in November, Washington is bringing back its "Restaurant Week" but adding a few changes.
This time the promotion, which begins today, will span two weeks, ending Jan. 27.
More than 80 restaurants have signed up to participate each paying $500 to be applied toward marketing the program. They are offering a special three-course menu for $20.02 for lunch and $30.02 for dinner.
The decision to bring back the promotion was based on the success of the last one, which had about 120 restaurants offering special three-course menus for $20.01 at lunch and $30.01 at dinner. Restaurants reported increases in sales ranging from 15 percent to as much as 200 percent.
Restaurants, like much of the hospitality and tourism industries, took a beating after the September 11 terrorist attacks and have begun to recover thanks in part to promotions like this.
In addition, this month's promotion will have more than a dozen sponsors that have dished out between $5,000 and $15,000. That donation puts their name on the various marketing materials, which includes print ads and television spots. Sponsors include WJLA-TV, BB&T;, Philip Morris and the National Distributing Co.
The restaurant promotion is modeled after a similar biannual promotion in New York City. As a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Big Apple held another Restaurant Week beginning Oct. 15 that lasted through the end of the month.

Something's brewin'
Caribou Coffee is opening its first location in the District this week.
The Minneapolis-based coffee chain, which has 170 stores in the Midwest and Southeast, will open the 1,800-square-foot store at 17th and L streets NW on Jan. 17.
The company plans to have more than 20 stores in the Washington market by the end of the year including one in opening in Logan Circle, Burke and Bethesda in the next several months.
"We've zeroed in on the Washington market," says Don Dempsey, chairman and chief executive of Caribou.
Despite the heavy saturation of competing Starbucks throughout the District, Mr. Dempsey isn't worried.
"People are looking for alternatives," he says.
Caribou already has three locations in Maryland in Gambrills, Rockville and Owings Mills, which all opened within the past six months.

Aussie-Irish pub expanding
Ned Devine's Irish Pub, a Herndon pub and restaurant with a twist of Irish and Australian flare, is looking to open another location.
The restaurant, owned by one Australian and three Irishmen, opened a year ago next month with the intention of opening a second one. The Aussie-Irish pub is separated into two bars an Australian side named Ned Kelly's after an Australian criminal and folk hero and an Irish side named Ned Devine's after the 1998 movie "Waking Ned Devine."
Despite the recession and the massive layoffs this year, the restaurant's first year in business has been very successful, says Australian native Graham Davies, who is one of the owners. The pub has expanded twice from its original 3,500 square feet to more than 9,000 square feet.
"Our customer base is growing so we must be doing something right," he says. "To build another one is a no-brainer."
So the Ned's team wants to expand the concept and has looked in places like Northern Virginia, the District, Bethesda and Rockville. Mr. Davies says they would ideally like to locate another Ned's in Arlington. JBG Rosenfeld Retail, a Bethesda-based real estate agency, represents Ned's.
Mr. Davies hopes to have a new 7,000-square-foot to 8,000-square-foot location open by the end of this year.

Retail and Hospitality runs every other week. Donna De Marco can be reached at [email protected] or 202/636-4884.

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