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Fredericksburg restaurant week starts Jan. 18

MORE: Read more news from Fredericksburg

 View sample menus from participating restaurants here

The holidays are usually a time when folks don’t want to stray from tradition. They make the same foods year after year, relishing the memories they bring back.

Then January comes, and if you live in Fredericksburg, it’s a great time to treat your palate to something new and different.

That’s made easier with downtown Fredericksburg’s restaurant week. The promotion is in its seventh year in 2013.

From Jan. 18 to 28, 16 local, independent eateries will offer special three-course dinner menus for $20.13 a person, and lunch specials for $10.13.

This year’s participants are the Bavarian Chef, Bistro Bethem, Brock’s Riverside Grill, Capital Ale House, Colonial Tavern, Eileen’s Bakery & Café, Fizzlebottom’s Café, Foode, Jake & Mike’s, Kybecca Wine Bar, La Petite Auberge, Poppy Hill Tuscan Kitchen, Ristorante Renato, Sunken Well Tavern, Tru Luv’s, and Virginia Deli.

Visitor Center Manager Julie Perry points out that for some of the higher-end restaurants, getting a three-course meal for $20.13 is a great value that can make a “special-occasion” restaurant accessible on a run-of-the-mill January night.

Diner participation in the promotion has been growing in recent years.

During the 2012 restaurant week, diners sat down to 6,150 meals, compared to 5,024 in 2011, and 2,562 in 2010.

“I think it’s getting into people’s January routine,” Perry said. “It’s just a fun time to get out in Fredericksburg. You just see so many people you know.”

Paul Stoddard, whose Sunken Well Tavern is participating in restaurant week, said the promotion brings in people he’s never seen in his restaurant before, making it an opportunity to find new customers.

And since the promotion runs seven days a week, he said it can provide an incentive for diners to fill tables on slower weeknights, a time when it might be easier to get a reservation (and a babysitter).

“Anything you can do to get people in the doors, especially during the week, always helps,” he said.

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