MADISON, NJ—Twenty-one local restaurants and eateries will be participating in Madison’s first College Restaurant Week this fall. College students from Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson University and the College of St. Elizabeth will be able to take advantage of dining discounts during the week of Sept. 16-22.
The Downtown Development Commission (DDC) and Madison Chamber of Commerce collaborated as co-sponsors for the week-long gastronomic event. Although the Chamber of Commerce has organized similar events in years past, this September’s Restaurant Week will be the first of its kind to target local college students.
According to Chamber of Commerce President Ken Toumey, the purpose of the event is to generate awareness among college students about the variety of quality food establishments located in Madison. “These lucky students will be enjoying a great introduction to so many options for some great alternatives to campus food by visiting the many eateries participating in this great program. Kudos to all involved.” Tourney said. “We all hope it leads to all of these students making the short trek downtown more often.”
The DDC, whose efforts to highlight the Madison downtown include events such as May Day and Bottle Hill Day, aims to build relationships between local businesses and Madison students with the College Restaurant Week event. “For local college students, Madison is their home away from home,” said Mike Kopas, DDC commissioner. “Every student likes to leave campus occasionally to break up their on-campus dining routines. Madison restaurants do an excellent job of making the students feel welcome while providing a family-orientated, friendly service.”
Carla Brady, DDC commissioner and assistant of Student Activities at Drew University, echoed Kopas’ sentiments, calling the event a “fun and innovative way to incorporate college students into the town.”
DDC Chairman Eric Range added that the event has received overwhelming support from Madison restaurant owners. “They are all so excited to welcome new and returning students to the Madison community,” said Range. “The Madison dining scene is full of hidden gems, and this is an opportunity for them to really shine.”
Participating restaurant owners expressed their enthusiasm for the event. Mike Caminiti, owner of Mama C’s Subs, said that he is looking forward to the opportunity to show college students what his sandwich shop has to offer. “College students sometimes need to get off campus for a change of atmosphere. They can bring their laptop, books (we have free Wi-Fi), and enjoy our great sandwiches, salads, soups and specials,” said Caminiti. “When parents come to visit, students can bring them in for breakfast and/or lunch. We are known to be a friendly place and want to be THE place that the college students go in town.”
Chef Loryn Dagon, owner of Chef Loryn’s, said she looked forward to kicking off the new school year with Restaurant Week. “We are always excited for a new school year. A new season, new friends, new menu items. Welcome back students and Welcome to Chef Loryn's, where the food is always fresh and always homemade.”
Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and College of St. Elizabeth students with a college ID will be able to enjoy discounts and deals from the following participating restaurants and eateries: C&J’s Deli, 10 Park Avenue; Chef Loryn’s, 250 Main Street; Crowley Cupcakes, 7 Waverly Place; Begum Palace, 300 Main Street; David’s Rumba Café, 6 Elmer Street; Empire Szechuan, 258 Main Street; Fratelli’s Deli, 42 Main Street; Il Porto, 90 Park Avenue; Italian Village Pizza, 300 Main Street; L’allegria Restaurant, 11 Prospect Street; Mama C’s Subs, 143 Main Street; Nautilus Diner, 95 Main Street; Nicky’s Firehouse, 15 Central Avenue; On A Roll, 50 ½ Main Street; Prospect Tavern, 14 Prospect Street; Rob’s Bistro, 75 Main Street; Romanelli’s, 42 Lincoln Place; SOHO 33, 33 Main Street; Takuma Japanese Restaurant, 42 Lincoln Place; Chianti, 7 Cross Street; The Waverly Restaurant, 14 Waverly Place.