After being cut short due to COVID-19 restrictions, a popular Edmonton festival is back to help give the restaurant industry a boost.
The multi-course festival has returned for a 12-day stretch, wrapping up on Nov. 8.
Downtown Business Association’s Nick Lilley said the timing was right for a second version of the event, as local businesses struggle to stay afloat.
“Our small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy. We know we need to be out supporting them, especially through these tricky times,” Lilley said.
The restaurants are working to put customers at ease with added in-house sanitation practices and physical distancing. Many are offering takeout or curbside options.
“We want to support people who may want to take part in a more unique way,” Lilley said. “We are trying to make sure this is a safe and engaging experience for everybody.”
Bottega 104 is one of 40 restaurants taking part in the event.
Managing partner Antonio Petosa said they have been working hard to ensure the space is ready to welcome patrons inside.
“Come and see that things can be done in a proper way and you can have a good dining experience… even though it will be in a bit of a different environment,” Petosa said.
Petosa said he feels lucky to have his downtown spot seeing a lunch rush, even with reduced capacity.
“I believe we are one of the more fortunate restaurants in the city. Our customers have come back to support us,” Petosa said. “It’s heartwarming. It’s encouraging. But, you know, Edmontonians are like that. We are people who support small businesses.”