Restaurant Week starts for Downtown Topeka businesses

Published: Apr. 14, 2021 at 6:52 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Downtown Topeka Inc. and AIM Strategies started their Restaurant Week initiative Wednesday giving new, and established, downtown Topeka restaurants the chance to show off their unique businesses.

The inaugural event is designed to benefit restaurants that have struggled financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Around 30 restaurants and businesses are opening their doors with promotions.

Los Mandiles Rojos is a family-owned restaurant at 1003 SE Quincy St and they are excited to show off their food and service. They opened mid-pandemic and look to make their name known in the community.

“Without the community, your restaurant is nothing so with that being said, half priced specials, events, our first year anniversary is coming up in May as well so it ties in perfectly,” said family member and employee Norman Castillo.

Iron Rail Brewing on S. Kansas Ave. is also participating.

General Manager Lindsey Skinner said, “More doors are opening, if that makes sense at all, and we’re ready to bring more people into that.”

Celtic Fox, also taking part. General Manager Katie Turner said they’re an establish restaurant and well-known in the community. But this event gives them the chance to get more traffic flow, and more traffic flow to all of Topeka.

“We’ve been here for a long time and we’re a pretty established business and have been apart of the process of building downtown starting years ago with third-Thursday concert series that’s transitioned into the second Saturday,” she said. “

Castillo sees this as a chance for his family’s restaurant to put their name with more popular ones in the Capital City. He said they want to show the a family-run restaurant can compete with those even bigger ones downtown. As well as emphasizing safety precautions they’ve taken to stay up-and-running.

“Please be safe, wear your mask, we do social distance here as you can see with the tables and the most important thing above good quality, service and food is making sure people are healthy,” he said.

The Axe and Ale bar are also having promotions and wanting more people to come see what they have to offer. General Manager Dayton Bossard said although they are not a restaurant because they do not serve food, the more people that come out -- the better regardless to help the city grow.

“The more people we can get down here helping all the local businesses, the better we’ll do.”

Business owners hope the people who stop by their shop, will stop by other shops too.

“You know, you go eat dinner and then you come here and throw some axes, have a drink, polish off the night and go on home,” said Bossard.

“There’s a lot of cool things here people don’t know about. So to be able to get that out and promote it and let them know how many of us are actually down here,” said Skinner.

They’re also excited other events are returning. Like Evergy Plaza’s “Live at Lunch” concerts from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Wednesday. They’ll feature new musicians and food trucks each week.

Turner said, “We’ve worked really hard to be a community where we’ve got events going on, that benefit everybody, that draw people down here that might not visit downtown and so, as soon as I heard about it I was all ready to jump in.”

There are some concerns with this being the first time this event has happened, but they feel overall they can handle it and want it to happen, and continue to happen for years to come.

“I think everywhere right now is having issues with staffing but we’re doing the best that we can and as long as people understand that, I think we’ll be okay,” said Skinner.

Turner said, “It’s a brand new event so you don’t really know what you’re getting into so you’re just kind of flying by it and seeing what you can, what works what doesn’t work you know. The first time you do an event, there’s always a learning curve to it so this will give us something that we can really develop hopefully in the future.”

For the full list of businesses participating and their deals, go to

The restaurant week lasts until April 28.

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Downtown Topeka Inc. is kicking off the first Downtown Topeka Restaurant Week in hopes of helping businesses who struggled with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The promotion runs until April 28, giving people plenty of chances to find some discounts at downtown Topeka restaurants. Downtown Topeka Inc. and AIM Strategies are starting their restaurant week promotions Wednesday.

It was supposed to be last year but the pandemic threw a wrench in it, but now they can show off their business safely and give people the chance to explore not only restaurants, but businesses, Evergy Plaza and more it has to offer.

Los Mandiles Rojos, which translates to the red apron, is hoping to show off their food and music at their family-owned business.

Norman Castillo, employee at Los Mandiles Rojos, said, “we want to see our name put up with those popular Topeka restaurants. We want to show that a family run restaurant can compete with those even bigger restaurants.

Iron Rail, Celtic Fox, Axe and Ale, and more are opening their doors with discounted menu items as well. A full list can be found at

They say their excited to participate -- and are doing so safely.

They all say they continue to act like they did early on in the pandemic -- sanitizing, wiping down tables, wearing masks and socially distancing.

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