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Charlotte eateries hope for large turnout for Queen's Feast after a year of hardships

Charlotte Restaurant Week is upon us and after a year of hardships for local restaurants, many owners are hopeful the event will give them a boost.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For the first time since the pandemic started, Queen's Feast, Charlotte's restaurant week, is back and business owners are hoping for a good turnout after a year of hardships

The event runs through July 25. Chefs and cooks have been preparing for the dishes that'll offer up a taste of what their restaurant has to offer as a whole. That includes the staff at Bar Marcel in south Charlotte. 

"It's a French, Spanish, and Italian-inspired restaurant," said Kevin Jennings, the co-owner of the boutique bar and restaurant. 

After a rough year dealing with a shutdown, pivots to stay afloat, and a roaring comeback as employment lingered, Jennings is just thankful his restaurant is back to normal. 

"Yeah, it was fairly awful," he said. "The old adage of, 'If you're not open, you can't do any sales.'"

Bar Marcel opened in 2019, just before the pandemic hit, and at times Jennings thought he'd lose the restaurant. 

"Absolutely!" he exclaimed. "Most of COVID was that situation, you know."

It's why he and other restaurants participating in Queen's Feast are hopeful the community around them comes out to support them. 

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"This gives them the opportunity to go -- you know what, I'm going to go try that place out, I've been thinking about it," Jennings explained. 

He also believed the tasty week combined with people getting vaccinated could put some pandemic panic to rest. 

"I think that this particular situation is giving people the reassurance -- hey, it's OK! Your restaurants need you, like, we know you want to go out, so go out," he said. 

There are 42 restaurants participating in the week-long event and it stretches from several counties even outside of Charlotte. 

Contact Hunter Sáenz at hsaenz@wcnc.com and follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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