Penticton foodies are going to think they died and went to heaven at the upcoming Foodtopia 2019 on Oct. 11.
Main Street’s 500 Block contains the highest-density of eateries compared to any other block in the city, and all seven establishments – Craft Corner Kitchen, Smugglers Smokehouse, Accent Chocolate, Happiness Thai, Sushi Heaven, Tequila Vallarta and Brodo Kitchen – will be serving up special eats from 5 to 8 p.m. for attendees.
The block party-style event will also feature free, live entertainment at each venue, including performances by the Forbidden Fruit dance troupe, Stone the amazing magician, authentic Mexican karaoke and a kids’ movie. Each eatery will have a passport for extravaganza attendees to collect stamps from each place they stop at. Completed passports will qualify attendees for a special prize.
“The restaurants came to us with their plans, so we’re trying to get the whole city just appreciate how much is happening on one block. I think people will be quite surprised to see just how many restaurants there are in the 500 Block, so this is a great way to showcase what’s going on and there’ll be live entertainment,” said Lynn Allin, director of the Downtown Penticton Association (DPA), which is backing the event.
Allin added that this event is especially important given that tourism season has now passed and some of these establishments may see a dip in customers as we head into fall and winter. The DPA is also help promote these restaurants during their weekly Community Markets, which take place just two blocks over on Main Street.
“This is a great reminder of what we have all year round in our wonderful city. When it gets dark at 7 or 8 o’clock at night and think they shouldn’t go out anymore, there’s lots of places they can go to have some fun during the week and weekends in the off-season,” said Allin.
Despite the fact that they’re all in the business of feeding people, Jonathan Cote, owner of Craft Corner Kitchen, said he doesn’t consider the other eateries on Main Street’s 500 Block as “the competition.”
“I don’t consider them competition, we are all very different with what we do here. Plus we all get along very well, which is great, and we all have our own things to offer and different talents,” said Cote. “Yes, in the general context it is food, but we’re all doing different things.”
Cote has been a champion of this event for the other eateries on the street, and can’t wait to see it come to fruition on Friday. He added that there may be some perceptions that this neighbourhood isn’t a desirable one to frequent, so he hopes that this will prove how much the block has to offer.
“When I opened up my place, and it’s written everywhere (inside it), it is about community and that’s what I care about. If I can, I will support my neighbour. And we noticed that a few restaurants have opened on the other side of town and we’ve kind of been forgotten about a little bit,” said Cote. “We just want to say ‘Hey, we’re here!’ and the 500 Block isn’t a scary place to come anymore.”
More information about Foodtopia 2019 can be found online at www.downtownpenticton.org/foodtopia/.
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