Beginning Monday, Feb. 19, through Sunday, Feb 25, the Lompoc Valley will celebrate “Restaurant Week” for the third year in a row with local food and drink specials priced at $20.18.
This year’s 22 participating restaurants include newcomers to the valley such as 805 Chop House, and Valle Eatery & Bar, located inside the newly-built Hilton Garden Inn. They, like all, are prepping for this widely advertised week that promises to celebrate foodies near and far.
Depending on the restaurant deal, one can opt for a two- or three-course meal; a two for the price of one offer; or specialty dishes, each for a mere $20.18 (tax, tip, and drink accoutrements excluded). Menus of participating restaurants can be found at www.lompoc.com.
There is no need to pre-purchase tickets; just pick a restaurant and enjoy its delightful provisions. Dinner reservations are recommended for some restaurants as it tends to be a busier time. As such, call ahead.
When asked if ready for their first Restaurant Week in Lompoc, Valle Eatery’s Chef Flores, also a local resident with 30 years’ experience in the restaurant industry, calmly shares, “Oh, yes! We’re ready. We expect it to be very busy, so we are set to prep ahead, daily.”
With manchego romesco brussels sprouts, grilled striploin angus beef, and a hazelnut brownie dessert on this week’s $20.18 menu, Chef Flores details, “Our produce is local and organic—and our meals are made from scratch. We hope you’ll come and see what we have to offer.”
Third-year Restaurant Week participants La Botte, whose owner/operator, Mama Catarina, and her daughter Mar explain, “Compared to last year, I think we are giving even more value. This year we’re offering two meals for the price of $20.18 during lunch hours.”
Attempting to select from a plentiful list of homemade Italian fare possibilities, such as a meatball sandwich or grilled chicken pesto; fettuccine alfredo or spaghetti carbonara, will prove to be the bigger obstacle over price. “We do this because we love our community,” adds Mama Catarina.
Given that the hospitality industry is responsible for more than 10 percent of Lompoc’s employment and wages (according to the California Employment Development Department 2014 Industry Sector Census), this week’s festivities will represent a community-wide value add, offering eager diners a considerable discount as well as a notable earnings stimulus for local restaurateurs and their employees.
Returning for the second time to Restaurant Week is Wild West Pizza. Luis Sotelo, the front of house server of three years, recalls last year’s daily order average doubling over the course of the week.
“Sure, it was a little more hectic, but it brought in local patrons that had never tried us before," he said. "It was fun meeting new people. We even had people from San Luis Obispo.”
Working at Wild West while finishing up at Hancock College, Sotelo fondly remembers, “Last year, we increased our tip average by more than 15 percent. It was spectacular!”
Encouraging everyone to go out and support local restaurants throughout the week are also this year’s proud sponsors: Sta. Rita Hills Wine Alliance, Shop Lompoc Shop Small and the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau.
The list of 2018 Lompoc Restaurant Week participants and their menus can be accessed via the Lompoc Valley Chamber’s website at www.lompoc.com. For additional questions contact the Chamber at (805) 736-4567 or email Danielle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To stay updated on the EDC’s progress throughout the year, like the “Lompoc Economic Development Committee” page on Facebook. Also, the EDC’s meeting agendas and minutes can be found on the City of Lompoc’s website.