The story of Maine Restaurant Week
We started in 2008 when our restaurant clients faced the annual question of how they would get through winter. Most owners and chefs had just one choice. They would scale their staff to a minimum size, cut hours, and reduce orders. That was the story for many winters before MRW was born. Local- and independently-owned restaurants mostly went quiet during winter, hoping summer business would make up for winter. For many years, restaurant owners had to reinvent themselves each spring and hope for talented laid-off staff to return to the team so the identity of the operation would again be whole.
The talented chef-owners we worked with at the time wanted a winter boost. And we needed to initiate it. Through the handful of restaurant clients and connections with dozens of chefs and owners through several years of leadership of Portland's Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation fundraising dinners and Harvest on the Harbor, it quickly became clear that Portland and Maine needed a winter restaurant celebration.
It was the fall of 2008, and Maine Restaurant Week was born on March 1, 2009. It came together quickly— the response that year, and every winter has been excellent. We have met hundreds of lovely people. We love that MRW attracts friendly people and great partners.
As we developed the concept, we asked ourselves what we could do to help some of our neighbors in need. That's where Preble Street enters the MRW story. MRW sponsorships and event ticket sales allow us to support the Preble Street community.
The goal of MRW is still a good and meaningful one. It still feels good to deliver this event and boost participating restaurants during winter.
So there you have it, the incredible and true MRW story.
Now we hope you'll celebrate a little and boost participating restaurants.
Gillian and Jim Britt
Creators of MRW
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MRW celebrates local- and independently owned restaurants. Read More.