By STEVEN FROIAS
When does an event become something more? Something unexpected and profound?
When you find yourself totally reimagining an entire part of the City of New Bedford. And that’s about to happen from Saturday, Sept. 15 through Friday, Sept. 21.
When the idea for the Love The Ave & North End Restaurant Week was first born, it was a simple recognition of the fact that Acushnet Avenue and the North End is home to an outstanding number of the city’s most beloved bakeries and eateries.
But over the course of the summer, as the special promotion was being put together, a simple restaurant week found its street cred. Recognition became reality as each establishment was visited and, looking beyond their menus, their real spirit was discovered and their true value revealed.
In their totality, the number of establishments Coggeshall Street and north represent an urban landscape that’s rare and valuable. A vast neighborhood where the city can find itself … and each other.
That changes the entire narrative of the North End. Because the amazing array of restaurants here make up nothing less than an entirely new destination for the region. A place that rivals Federal Hill in Providence, RI or Little Italy in Manhattan as a location that’s defined by an industry dedicated to hospitality and community.
You can take a thing for granted when you see the trees every day yet never step back to view the forest.
Looking at Acushnet Avenue and the North End from the vantage point of an urban space which boasts over 40 eating, drinking and dining establishments characterized by unique flavors turns it into something special in this city. Something stewed in culture and made rich by diverse people.
Collectively, these small businesses of Ashley Boulevard, Acushnet Avenue, Nash Road and Belleville Avenue also employ a few hundred people. They welcome many, many more on a monthly basis and are important community gathering places and, in some instances, local institutions.
The Featured Restaurants in the spotlight next week are much more than places to eat. They are civic partners and community leaders.
All of them are committed to New Bedford and have literally put their money where their mouths are by investing their time, talent and good will toward improving the quality of life in the city. That’s no small thing and New Bedford wouldn’t be the same without them.
The Love The Ave & North End Restaurant Week isn’t just an opportunity to publicize these businesses, but to celebrate them and thank them for all they serve up each and every day.
From Saturday, September 15 through Friday, September 21, diners are encouraged to patronize all these cherished spots in the city for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Invite friends and bring family.
A full list of Featured Restaurants can be found here and in this week’s Coastin’ in Thursday’s Standard-Times newspaper.
You don’t need reservations.
Just an appetite for good food, delicious community and civic pride to claim your seat at the table.