‘Offer money and they will come:’ Kennewick begins restaurant incentive program

Think downtown Kennewick could do a little more to bolster its dining scene? Looks like city officials agree.

The city will pay up to $20,000 in the coming months as part of a new Downtown Kennewick Restaurant Incentive Program intended to draw new restaurateurs to the area and help those already established in the district.

The America’s Best Communities contest, in which Kennewick is competing, provided the money, and the Tri-City Development Council is running the program.

A couple of new dining spots have opened downtown this year, including Downtown Pizzeria and the recently opened Foodies Brick & Mortar, both on Kennewick Avenue. But data from a recent survey showed that people think having more dining options downtown could do a lot to bring more people to the area.

“People gather where there’s great food, and it can be costly for restauranteurs to bring some of these older buildings up to code for that purpose or expand their offerings,” said Emily Estes-Cross, the city’s economic development manager.

Eligible businesses can receive up to $5,000 through the program. However, they must be located or moving to a site within the area, which stretches from the Columbia River and First Avenue and from Fruitland Street to Highway 397. Clover Island is included in that area.

Further details, requirements and applications are available at http://bit.ly/1FQNaWK. Applications submitted by 4 p.m. Oct. 30 will be considered for funding in November. If funds remain after November, they will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Culinary series at Walter Clore center

Looking for a way to expand your gastronomic horizons? Then the Walter Clore Wine & Culinary Center in Prosser has your number.

The center will debut its Casual Culinary Series on Oct. 15, with Chef Kristin Johnson of Martilla’s Kitchen Company in Prosser. The event, which will have several iterations in the coming months, will have Johnson demonstrate recipes using local and seasonal foods. Guests, beyond being given copies of the recipes, will be able to sample, ask questions, and a few will also be asked to help out.

This week’s event will focus on fall and winter squash, but there will be pasta Oct. 22, sweet potatoes Nov. 19, and molasses and spice pies Dec. 17.

Cost to attend is $35. Register for the events at www.theclorecenter.org.

Dickey’s expanding to Walla Walla

Barbecue franchise Dickey's has expanded yet again, this time to Walla Walla.

The new location, the 20th restaurant for the franchise in the state, is at 516 N. Wilbur Ave. It can be reached at 509-529-7092.

Dickey’s arrived in the Tri-Cities only a little more than a year ago, but there are now two locations, one near the intersection of Highway 395 and Kennewick Avenue and another in Richland’s Queensgate shopping district.

The restaurants aim for a family-friendly country feeling, and the menu includes meats by the pound, including pulled pork, beef brisket, turkey, chicken, honey ham and sausage. There are also ribs, meat plates, sandwiches, baked potatoes, salads, desserts and other home-style sides.

Got a recommendation?

Do you have a favorite lunch counter or dinner spot that you think others should know about? Tell me about them. Send recommendations to tbeaver@tricityherald.com

Ty Beaver: 509-582-1402; tbeaver@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @_tybeaver