Deals at Downtown Restaurants Draw People Out During Winter Weeks

Feb 16, 2015

Modern Malt blends a tavern and bar with a diner and is one of the newest downtown restaurants.
Credit Modern Malt @eatdrinkmalt

  Syracuse residents might be coming out of hibernation early this year, for the 11th annual Downtown Dining Weeks that start Monday. Some new restaurants have joined on along with old favorites, making for a record number of participants.

27 restaurants in total are participating…all with great meals and even better deals. Most are featuring three course meals for 25 dollars or less. Some of the restaurants have participated in dining week since its start back in 2005. Others aren’t just new to the event, they’re new to the area. Modern Malt hasn’t even been open two weeks. General Manager Katie Beckett says the gastro diner prides itself on chef inspired food…and residents are noticing.

“A lot of people were waiting for us to open.  I live in the Armory Square are as well, and have lived here for a few years and I’ve always wished there was a diner down here, a place to get some breakfast food.  I think a lot of our customers have been residents.  They’re folks who live down here and work down here, so I think all the folks were excited and waiting for us to get going and here we are.”


While not new to Syracuse, Funk n’ Waffles is new to Downtown Dining Week, after recently opening its second restaurant in Armory Square. General Manager Samuel Levy says they plan on offering a savory waffle, a sweet waffle and a beverage for just 20 bucks.

“It’s going to help us obviously for the couple weeks of Dining Week, but also in the long term.  Once people get a chance to come down here and see us for the first time, I think they’ll come back.  I like to see the reactions of people when they try things like our jive turkey and our chicken and waffles, things you can’t find anywhere else.”

It’s hard to live in Syracuse and never have tried Pastabilities famous hot tomato oil and fresh Italian bread. 

Pastabilities is an original participant of Dining Week and is offering a three-course dinner deal for the event.

  But Owner Karen Korteling says despite being one of dining week’s first ever participant…the event continues to bring out long time locals who still haven’t been to their restaurant.

“It does draw people that still haven’t been downtown.  Maybe they’re finally encouraged to come because there’s more and more things to do.  It’s definitely an active, urban experience to come during these weeks because there are a lot more people milling around and it just feels like something you want to be a part of.” 

Another long time participant is the Empire Brewing Company. Owner David Katleski says incentivizing people with good food and prices pays off for everyone in the long run.

“It helps all the restaurants two-fold.  We’re able to expose ourselves to new customers often, and second it’s during a slower period of the year when there’s snow on the ground and people are kind of tired of winter.  So getting them out and getting a n early jump on spring helps the business quite a bit.”   

The event will run from today through  March 1st.  

317 at Montgomery

Ale 'N Angus Pub

Bamboo House

Bistro Elephant Steakhouse

Bittersweet Wine & Dessert Bar

Black Olive Mediterranean Taverna

Bull & Bear Pub

Byblos Bar & Grill

Byblos Mediterranean Cafe

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Empire Brewing Company

Funk 'n Waffles

Indian Tandoor

Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub

Lemon Grass



The Mission

Modern Malt


Otro Cinco


Prime Steakhouse

Sakana-Ya Sushi Bar

Small Plates

Syracuse Suds Factory

Tang Flavor