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Restaurant Week kicks off in DC and Alexandria as COVID pandemic continues

In DC, the week of deals begins as restaurants begin to require proof of vaccination as COVID cases surge.

WASHINGTON — As we move into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the hardest-hit industries is prepping for one of the busiest times of the year: Restaurant Week.

Restaurant Week is a multi-day event in which restaurants and bars offer reduced or fixed price menus to customers. The week of deals kicks off this month at different times in DC, Alexandria and Bethesda.


In DC, hundreds of restaurants are participating in the week-long event that starts in the District on Jan. 17. The list of participating restaurants is so long that I was going to add it to this story, but you would miss out on the deals because of how long it would take for you to read through it. You can visit the Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week (RAMW) website to see the full list of deals. Some of the deals include dinner for two or four at fixed menu prices.

Restaurant Week in DC will begin right as businesses begin to require customers show proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Starting Jan. 15 at 6 a.m., certain DC establishments must make sure their patrons who are 12 and older have at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. Come Feb. 15, all patrons will need to have two doses. 

While customers will be required to show proof of vaccination, the Supreme Court halted a federal mandate that would require employees at large businesses to get a vaccine or test regularly and wear a mask on the job. 

At a Friday press conference, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio was asked if DC has plans to issue a new mandate adding employees to the vaccine requirement. 

Falcicchio explained that officials will have to discuss the next steps after analyzing the Supreme Court ruling and researching whether or not the District can require private employers to require vaccinations.

In the press conference Friday, one of the owners of Dauphine’s in downtown DC said restaurant week is coming at a time when businesses downtown have been hit especially hard. All employees at the establishment have been required to be vaccinated and receive a booster as well. 

"It made them feel safer at work and it made customers feel safer going into the restaurants," said Gavin Coleman. 

As for businesses who decide to go against the District mandate, Falcicchio is not concerned. 

"We've dealt with this before where a business has said 'we're not going to do it' and ultimately they do comply," he explained. 

RELATED: Lose your vaccine card? Forget it at home? Different ways to show proof of vaccine at DC businesses

The RAMW website reminds all patrons that they will need to bring proof of one dose of vaccination, an ID and wear a mask in order to dine indoors at the participating restaurants in DC.

Alexandria, Virginia

In Alexandria, Restaurant Week is actually 10 days long. This year, the event of deals kicks off on Jan. 21 with more than 60 restaurants offering a $35 dinner for one or two people. More than 50 restaurants will also offer to-go options.

According to the City of Alexandria website, the city and health department strongly urge everyone wear a mask as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. No proof of vaccination requirements has been mandated in Alexandria.

RELATED: Starting this week, you may be required to show your vaccination card at many local businesses. Find out the changes coming across the DMV

Participating restaurants:

  • The Light Horse
  • 219 Restaurant
  • Ada’s on the River
  • Aldo’s Italian Kitchen
  • Augie’s Mussel House
  • Barca Pier & Wine Bare
  • Barkhaus
  • Bastille Brasserie & Bar
  • Bistro Sancerre
  • Blackwall Hitch
  • Brabo Brasserie
  • Bugsy’s Pizza Restaurant & Sports Bar
  • Café 44
  • Café Pizzaiolo
  • Cedar Knoll
  • Chadwicks
  • Chart House Restaurant
  • Cheesetique
  • City Kitchen
  • Daniel O’Connell’s Irish Restaurant & Pub
  • Del Ray Café
  • Dishes of India
  • Elo’s Italian
  • Evening Star Café
  • Gadsby’s Tavern Restaurant
  • Hard Times Café 
  • Haute Dogs & Fries
  • Hen Quarter
  • Hops N Shine
  • Hummingbird
  • Junction Bakery & Bistro
  • King & Rye
  • Kismet Modern Indian 
  • Kisso Asian Bistro
  • Laporta’s Restaurant
  • Lena’s Wood-Fried Pizza & Tap
  • Mackie’s Bar and Grill
  • Mai Thai Restaurant 
  • The Majestic 
  • Market 2 Market
  • Mason Social
  • Mia’s Italian Kitchen
  • Michael’s Little Italy 
  • Murphy’s Irish Pub
  • Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster Barbeque
  • Nothside 10 
  • Oak Steakhouse 
  • Pasara Thai Restaurant
  • Piece Out
  • Pork Barrel BBQ
  • Redrocks Neapolitan Bistro
  • Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company
  • Royal Restaurant 
  • RT’s Restaurant 
  • The Rub Chicken & Beer
  • Rus UZ – Alexandria
  • Sonoma Cellar
  • Southside 815
  • Spice Kraft Indian Bistro
  • St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub – Old Town North
  • Sweet Fire Donna’s 
  • Taqueria Picoso 
  • Tempo Restaurant 
  • Tequila Taco
  • Thai Signature 
  • Theismann’s Restaurant Bar 
  • Union Street Public House
  • Urbano 116
  • Vola’s Dockside Grill and Hi-Tide Lounge
  • The Wharf
  • Whiskey & Oyster
  • Yunnan by Potomac – A Noodle House

WATCH NEXT: DC's proof-of-vaccination requirement kicks on January 15

Residents in the District will need to show proof-of-vaccination in most DC establishments starting Jan. 15 (they'll need to show they've had one shot).

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