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Devour Indy Summerfest proceeds will support hospitality workers

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Devour Indy Summerfest 2020 has kicked off. More than 100 restaurants will be offering special deals on a three-course meal.

Organizers of the event say the event, celebrating the city’s local restaurants, is more important than ever to the hospitality industry in their efforts to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elise Shrock, director of operations for the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association, talked about what this year means to the hospitality industry.

“[It’s] basically a celebration of resilience,” Shrock, said. Proceeds from the effort will go toward the Indiana Hospitality Relief Fund.

Lindsay Watts, general manager of downtown seafood restaurant McCormick and Schmick’s shared her perspective on what it’s been like getting through the pandemic.

“We have to stay positive. We have to round our team up, do what we can in this city, put our arms around our staff and just make it work,” Watts said.

Summerfest will a number of local restaurants competing in a cocktail competition. Harry & Izzy’s is hoping to take home a win with its “Forbidden Love” cocktail.

“I’ll put our cocktails against anybody’s,” Bryn Jones, Huse Culinary vice president of marketing, said.

Jones says hospitality professionals are trying to band together, first to keep people safe and also to make sure this year’s experience gives people a reason to go out to one of the local restaurants.

“It’s always a fun time because it gives people a reason to maybe go out and try a restaurant that they’ve never been to and the deals that you get this time of year, they’re better than any other time of year,” Jones said.

Devour Indy 2020 Summerfest runs from Monday to Sept. 6.