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ASG Evanston Restaurant Week offers student discounts, builds community

Evanston Restaurant Week will run from April 11 through 15.

Associated Student Government’s Community Relations Committee is partnering with local businesses to host Evanston Restaurant Week from April 11 through 15.

Northwestern students can present their Wildcard for discounts or a free item at 13 participating restaurants, including La Cocinita, 10Q Chicken or Ovo Frito. Most discounts range from about 10 to 20%.

Through Restaurant Week, ASG hopes to connect students to the greater Evanston community, according to Weinberg junior and ASG Chair of Community Relations Mychael Torres. She said she hopes students will use the week to support local businesses.

The Community Relations Committee took inspiration from other colleges when planning Evanston Restaurant Week, Torres said. Members launched a survey and visited businesses in-person to gauge interest in the collaboration.

“Something that we’ve heard from Evanson is that they want to (do) well with the business side,” Torres said. “So we’re trying to help do that.”

Weinberg freshman Madeleine Tutwiler is a member of the Community Relations Committee and helped work on the initiative. Tutwiler said she first joined the committee because she knew very little about the Evanston community and wanted to change that, which she said likely rings true for many students.

The week allows students the opportunity to try out new restaurants with the bonus of a discount, she said.

“I feel like there’s a big disconnect between Evanston residents and Northwestern students, and specifically with businesses, I feel like we’re not really part of their culture,” Tutwiler said. “This is the opportunity for Northwestern students to become more engaged in small businesses in Evanston and hopefully mend any bad sentiments between us and them.”

Local restaurants, like Soul & Smoke, enjoy business from NU students and having them around, said Co-Owner Heather Bublick. Soul & Smoke will be offering 10% off during the week.

She said she’s excited for the increased business from students after Spring Break. While business from students ebbs and flows throughout the year, Soul & Smoke also caters events with NU sports teams and clubs, Bublick added.

“We love partnering with Northwestern,” Bublick said. “Anytime we can engage with the student population, it’s always good.”

The committee is optimistic about finding success. Torres said she hopes to see many students participate during the week, though she acknowledges some inhibiting factors like proximity to off-campus restaurants or unsavory weather conditions may exist.

Both Torres and Tutwiler said Evanston Restaurant Week may incentivize students to venture beyond typical student spots.

“We’re not necessarily like on campus or downtown,” Bublick said of Soul & Smoke’s Payne Street location. “But I hope students come out and check out some of the other neighborhoods out and some of the other newer restaurants in town.”

Restaurant-goers can also post a photo of their trip to their story with # ERW2022 for the chance to win a prize if they tag ASG’s Instagram account and the restaurant.

Tutwiler said connecting with restaurants throughout Evanston Restaurant Week could create benefits beyond the week. She said she hopes a successful event will encourage restaurants to stay open later and increase students’ late-night dining options.

Torres noticed many restaurants close by 10 pm, which can be frustrating when she is up late studying or has a rehearsal run late, she said.

“The more that we engage certain businesses, the more encouraged they will be to engage with us in that way,” Torres said. “We’re trying to just create some sort of symbiotic relationship.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @karapeeler

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