Idea: Downtown Progressive Dinner

photo courtesy L.Miller-Brousil
 Okay, I'm about to offer you all my idea or expose myself a bit, if you will. I've been mulling the details over for quite awhile, but without any kind of experience in an event like this I have no clue where to even begin. That's where all of you come in. I've discovered that there's a wealth of collaborative knowledge available to those of us who use social media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc). True, it does come with it's share of variables/pitfalls. Sorry, easily distracted am I.

Thanks to Ross Swartzendruber, Salem has more fun events going on throughout the year. It's my belief he's inspired others along the way, too. Downtown Salem, like many downtown areas, has had it's ups and downs. At the present time, it's enjoying the beginning of a renaissance. More people are discovering all downtown has to offer. It doesn't hurt that the buildings are looking pretty spiffy.

photo courtesy L.Miller-Brousil

What do you think about a progressive downtown dining experience as a regular Saturday event? Either monthly, bimonthly or maybe seasonally? I wonder if tickets would be necessary? And limit the stops to somewhere around 5? Where would a good starting point be? Travel Salem?

17 comments:

Lisa Anne said...

So were you thinking something like a wine walk but a food walk to downtown restaurants for each course? I think thats cool! Probably monthly or bi-monthly would be optimal because it could get expensive buying a course at each place. Or were you thinking of charging by the head, a set price?

KandN said...

Yes, like a wine walk, but everyone would need to be progressing from place to place at the same time. Oh, and a social hour before hand at a place like Travel Salem and dessert and coffee at the end.
Ideally, I think it would be nice for people to be able to buy a ticket for the whole she-bang, but that's probably unrealistic.

Lisa Anne said...

I found an LA place that has foodie events like this. Here is the link: http://bit.ly/h0ir8f I'm thinking $25-35 a head might be a good goal for tickets. Or ala carte might be good if people choose to do that.

Rachel said...

I think it sounds like a great idea, K. Without an entity to coordinate it with restaurants right now (that could happen if turnout is good and restos are interested), then just doing it a la carte might be best for the time being- plus that way people have more freedom.

Saturday night might be difficult thought, because that is a busy time... unless it's earlier in the evening. Restaurants might be more enthusiastic about it if it was during a slower time (midweek).

Anonymous said...

Thursday night

Very good idea.

Anonymous said...

I would suggest for the first one that you stop at the following locations: La Capitale, Andaluz, La Margarita it would be a Rosales family progressive dinner.

KandN said...

Good ideas!
Thursday night probably would be better. And the ala carte, also.

SamIam came across a flyer in Albany about a similar event, tho it's more of a food tour. This will mark their second year.

Lisa Anne said...

So I was talking with my BF and he helped put together catering events once upon a time. He was saying that we would probably want to put an idea together to present to the restaurants and to have them do as little as possible at a time like Rachel said, when they aren't overwhelmed and need business. Like Monday night? If we do most of the work like planning, organizing, printing little menus for the event and all they have to do is cook and serve they might be willing to prepare a cheap ala carte menu for us. : )

Lisa Anne said...

I like the idea of the Rosales progressive dinner. Yum!!

Rebekah said...

I have done something similar with 3 or 4 friends. We usually hit 4 places and just eat an appetizer at the first, salad at the next, entree at the 3rd, and then dessert at the 4th, or something like that depending on the restaurants. We split stuff at each place or you will get WAY too full.

Maybe limit the number of people each month and then the restaurants won't be so overloaded. If its gets popular, it can always grow. I'd say let people pick their own stuff off the regular menu. I think all we really need to do is talk to the restaurant and get reservations for how many people will be there.

Also, don't forget lots of our downtown places are closed Mondays.

KandN said...

Sounds like a fun and relaxing evening, Rebekah. Have you found that someone needs to be "in charge", in order to keep things moving along?

Stacy said...

GREAT idea!

Rebekah said...

K, We only had 3-4 people participating, so everyone just knew that when we finished the dish, we'd move on to the next stop. I think the important thing is that participants understand the basic guidelines to a progressive dinner. Basic Rule #1 - only one dish per place! Or you'll be too full to finish! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if you might have a hard time getting restaurants to agree to this (in order to pull off the one base fee for the whole night). It would basically be an offer for a restaurant to host a large, possibly rowdy group who are all going to order a small plate, or something to share, and then take off. What's in it for the restaurants?

Rebekah's way of going from restaurant to restaurant with friends is another thing. At least the establishments don't know ahead of time that they won't make any money. I think that's a fine idea and a fun way to eat one's way around a few spots in the same night.

Oregon Maiden said...

I'd say talk with some of the downtown eateries (at least 3-4) and get a read on their reaction/ideas.
OM (PS what on earth is this having to click "Post Comment" three times before it goes through???)

KandN said...

OM, I don't know what the 3 click issue might be. It's not happening on my home pc.

tracylee said...

OM, I don't have a problem loading comments here. I use Google Chrome for any site that's got lots of images to load.