Marquette celebrates local businesses for Restaurant Week


Photo courtesy of Harry Stine

The Delft and other restaurants along Washington Streets and throughout Marquette highlighted special offers for Restaurant Week. Most participating locations had deals on lunch specials and introduced new menu items.

Harry Stine, Contributing writer

The Marquette Downtown Development Authority held its annual Restaurant Week from March 6 until the 12 which featured discounts and special meals from 17 participating restaurants in the area. 

Lagniappe Chef Nichole Durley-Rust described the lead-up to Restaurant Week as “insane,” with planning for the week beginning months in advance. The Lagniappe, which featured special menu items for Restaurant Week including, a three-course meal for dinner hours, decided on their choices a month in advance.

Durley-Rust also spent the weeks prior comparing prices for new menu items’ ingredients with various companies and finalized the menu after making sure availability matched up with their meal choices.

There’s a lot of meticulous planning that goes into a special menu like this, especially because everything is made from scratch,” Durley-Rust said.

Durley-Rust’s husband and Front of House Manager Robert Rust discussed the workload of the week. He mentioned scheduling more people to avoid stretching themselves thin, which included extra people in the kitchen for prep and extra servers in the front of house.

Durley-Rust said having Restaurant Week fall after spring break was a positive, as more faculty and students came in to try the week’s specials. Rust especially saw more people during the lunch hours, either taking a break from work or on a lunch date. 

“You do feel a little bit of pride that you put out a great product,” Robert Rust said. “You know you’re using food to touch other people. I think sometimes people lose sight of that there is a communal aspect to it, that there’s a familial aspect to it, where there’s also a healing aspect to it where people can sit down and have a meal.”

Durley-Rust gave praise to the Marquette Downtown Development Area for advertising and hosting the week. She added that Restaurant Week brings needed business to downtown restaurants during a historic slow time and the increased customers is always a positive.

Also participating in Restaurant Week was Trenary Toast Cafe which echoed similar experiences. The Cafe featured a variety of Smorrebrod, a Finnish open-faced sandwich, which included four different vegetarian options.

Shift Leader Amanda Knight said the owner, Brianna Wynsma, creates most of the menu items herself along with her husband and some input from cafe employees. Knight also said they had a much busier week, and they had to take time before the week to prepare some of the ingredients for the week’s specials.

“I’d say we had a lot of customers that were interested in Restaurant Week,” Knight said.

She added that a few more people were scheduled for the week to handle the increased business and that they recently hired two more people to prepare for the summer, who also helped out during the week. Despite the influx of customers, Knight said they handled it all well and everything went smoothly.

“I think it [Restaurant Week] really embraces local businesses, and it allows people to get a chance to know our locals,” Knight said.