By Libby Smith

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (CBS4)Spring Denver Restaurant Week runs April 23 – May 2, but the menus posted Wednesday on the website. Nearly 200 Denver metro area restaurants are participating, offering multi-course menus at one of three price points, $25, $35 or $45.

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Denver Restaurant Week is usually held at the beginning of March, to encourage everyone to explore Denver’s culinary scene. This year, VISIT Denver pushed back to take advantage of the improving weather and the options for outdoor dining. Many restaurants are still running at reduced capacity, but many will still be offering to go and delivery options.

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Larry Herz is a former restaurant owner, now he’s a self-proclaimed restaurant promotor. Nearly a year ago, Herz started doing live shows on social media featuring local restaurants. “What’s For Lunch?” airs at 11:30 a.m. on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. In this 10-minute show, Herz talks to local restaurateurs about what they’ve brought him for lunch.

“We keep it real short and sweet. It’s the who, what, where, and when, and why of your restaurant. What did you bring me for lunch. I have a bite and it’s over,” Herz explained.

Herz also hosts newly opened restaurants on “Local Biz Buzz,” and “Restaurants Near Me” follows Herz to five restaurants in one area. He said that he’s upped his online game to help out an industry hit hard by the pandemic.

“They absolutely get revenue from it,” Herz said.

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But Herz says the doom and gloom that was once predicted for the restaurant industry largely hasn’t come to fruition.

“I keep a list of openings and closings, and it’s 50/50. You cannot believe how many restaurants have opened during the pandemic,” Herz said.

Herz says the culinary scene has lost some classics, like Racine’s and Vesta Dipping Grill, but they were planning to close before the pandemic hit.

“What we’ve lost, which I’m not sad about, we’ve lost a lot of chains,” Herz told CBS4.

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He’s also predicting an extremely bright future for the culinary scene.

“I think we’re heading for a Roaring 20s. I think fine dining will make a big-time come back,” Herz said.

He says PPP helped many restaurants weather the storm, as well as landlords who were willing to work with their restaurant tenants.

“The public has really stepped up, and has gone above and beyond in supporting their neighborhood restaurants,” Herz said.

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Denver Restaurant Week will be the next opportunity for the public to support local spots.

“From the consumer standpoint, of course, it’s fantastic. It’s a great deal.”

The restaurants are looking forward to a high volume of business, even though capacity restrictions are still in place.

“I eat out a lot, and places are packed, and the feeling is great,” Herz said.

LINK: Check Out The Menus For Spring Denver Restaurant Week

Spring Denver Restaurant Week is April 23 – May 2, 2021. Now is the time to make reservations, and to make your plans for delivery and take-out.

Libby Smith