DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — The annual Savor the Avenue event returns to Delray Beach without COVID-19 restrictions.
Restaurant workers and attendees alike are looking forward to the event, which started in 2009 and returned along Atlantic Avenue last year with several pandemic-related restrictions in place.
This year, however, Savor the Avenue is not only back to normal, but also sold out.
"Everybody is much happier about it," Mit Amin, director of guest relations at Avalon Steak & Seafood, told WPTV on Monday. "The consumer is happy. The guests are happy. We're happy."
Out of 15 participating restaurants, Mayor Shelly Petrolia will be sitting at Avalon's table.
"I'm very excited about it," Amin said. "I mean, she's the mayor. She's a supporter of the city. We support the city."
Especially after what the restaurant endured throughout the pandemic.
Amin said when Avalon opened last year, it started with just a small number of tables because of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. He said they didn't want to pressure the kitchen and staff.
"Fiscally, I would say we're 30% higher than last year," Amin said.
An area nonprofit organization went from volunteering at the event to being chosen as the charity to receive proceeds from ticket sales.
"It means a lot. It really does," Dupree Jackson, founder of the EJS Project, told WPTV. "I continue to be surprised and appreciative of the support that we get from this community."
Named after Jackson's father, the EJS Project provides free services to empower the city's youth, just as Jackson's father empowered him.
"My dad was the person who instilled a lot of great character traits in me and helped guide my moral direction," Jackson said.
Part of the proceeds will allow the EJS Project to keep moving forward.
"I believe every kid needs at least one adult that they believe fully supports them, believes in them and that they can be whatever they dream of being," Jackson said.
Restaurants like Avalon plan to move forward, too.
"We're hoping to take advantage of what we can do and to share it with Delray," Amin said.