July 29, 2008

Eateries Prep for Festival Crowds

By Margaret Parsons, The Record-Eagle, Traverse City, Mich.

Jul. 29--TRAVERSE CITY -- The Traverse City Film Festival is here and many downtown restaurants are battening down the hatches in preparation for mass crowds, offering extended hours.

Ciao Bella Restaurant, which has a prime location across the street from the State Theatre, will offer extended hours for food service after learning from past festivals.

"It's our busiest time by far," restaurant manager Donovan Miske said. "We make more money during the Film Fest than during Cherry Fest and the (Horse Shows By the Bay) combined."

Along with hosting the Film Festival opening party ceremony and VIP filmmaker lounge, Red Ginger downtown will also be extending dinner hours starting today, the first day of the festival, from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. as well as offering late-night sushi Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. to midnight.

Not everyone sees the need to stay open later, however. Poppycocks Sous Chef Joel Henry said the restaurant, which is also located on Front Street, isn't planning later hours but that could change as the week progresses.

"In the past couple of years, we've never had to stay open any later," Henry said. "But, Wednesday will be the platform for what will happen the rest of the week. We'll see what happens Tuesday and Wednesday and then go from there."

Amical Restaurant is also extending hours during the Film Festival to midnight. Owner Dave Denison said its location right next to the State Theatre helps with business.

"For us, it's all about taking care of the people who are in town," he said. "We want to make sure people get in, get a great meal and get to their movies on time."


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