EASTON, Pa. - Restaurant Week is underway in Easton. Local business owners are hopeful the event boosts visitor numbers to what they were pre-pandemic.

Fifteen restaurants are offering special menus featuring new creations, plus flavorful favorites.

Business owners are dedicated to propping each other up and reuniting the community.

"We've kept up our dividers and we have our UV filtration installed," said Danya Kinsman, the general manager at 3rd and Ferry Fish Market.

Safety is priority at 3rd and Ferry Fish Market for the 16th year of Easton's Restaurant Week.

This event is a big deal, since last summer's Restaurant Week was all takeout.

"They desperately want your business and who wants to cook when it's this hot out?" Easton Restaurant Week organizer Stephanie Altieri Fisher said.

Kyle Hillhouse, a manager at River Grille, tells us traffic from Mother's and Father's Days, as well as graduations, has built momentum.

"We've seen a lot of new faces, old faces," said Hillhouse. "We've been all hands on deck."

It's been all hands on deck at all local restaurants, according to Altieri Fisher.

"Just about all of the restaurants in Easton are hiring," said Altieri Fisher. "A few of them didn't participate because they don't have the staff and they were afraid they were going to be busy."

"That is our biggest struggle right now is finding staff to be here," said Kinsman.

Businesses agree: it's hardworking staff and dedicated customers that are the recipe to staying open through all of the pandemic's ups and downs.

Easton's Restaurant Week runs through Saturday. Reservations are encouraged.

"We've seen a lot of old faces, new faces," said Hillhouse. "Let them share that special time with the family members that they missed."

"People are really excited to be out," said Kinsman.

The fun doesn't stop when you take your leftovers (if you have leftovers) home: if you share photos of your experience on the the Easton Restaurant Week Facebook page, you can win $25 gift cards to different restaurants.

Neighboring communities are also hoping for similar success. Historic Downtown Bethlehem's Restaurant Week begins Tuesday.

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