502 Restaurant Week

Now in it’s third year, 502 Restaurant Week is a chance for Louisvillians who love food to get out and sample some of the best fare in the city. Running from February 18 until March 4, it’s fast becoming one of the most anticipated periods in the city’s culinary calendar. We caught up with Lea Rhea, Vice President of 502 Restaurant Week to get the lowdown on this year’s event.

What is 502 Restaurant Week?
Well, what we do here in Louisville is we gather a bunch of amazing restaurants to create a special three-course meal at a special price of $50.20, either per couple, or per person, and then the diner can go directly to the restaurant and enjoy a great meal at a great price.

unnamedWhat was the origin of the event?
Over 200 other cities in the country do restaurant weeks and Louisville doesn’t, and we know we’re such a great foodie town that we simply had to incorporate a restaurant week here, so my partner and I (Belinda Gates) started it three years ago.

It must help that Louisville has become such a great food hub. How has the event grown since its inception?
Absolutely. We’re recognized nationally for our restaurant scene. We try to incorporate more and more restaurants while also reaching out to more diners. We partner with the Louisville Visitors Bureau and the Kentucky Restaurant Association, so that we can really reach the restaurants and any potential diners. Last year was the first year we reached out into television commercials, and we have a great relationship with Secrets of Louisville Chefs, where they produce a commercial for us. We want to create a date night, where three hotels would offer special rates during restaurant week if you wanted to expand your meal to a night on the town.

It’s obviously become more and more successful each year.
Yes, for sure. We’re gaining more and more recognition for the event, and more restaurants are coming on board, as well as more diners. The media has really jumped on board, and loves to talk about Restaurant Week because after all, people really love food!

Could you discuss which charity will benefit from a portion of the proceeds from the event?
Our charity this year is Safe Place Services, which is a division of the YMCA. They help homeless youths in our city. Safe Place Services receives a portion of the ticket sales from our Taste of 502 Event, which has been rescheduled to March 2., because of the snowstorm and they get all the benefits of our Wine and Spirits sales at the event. We’ve done a different charity in each of our events. We always want to incorporate charity at any of the events that we do, and we felt that Safe Place benefits the entire community. They help our community more than anyone can understand with their work with homeless youth. VT

For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.502restaurantweek.com or call 502.266.7427.