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Queens will be toast of town for new restaurant week

Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing), aligned with a host of economic and community development organizations, put the promotional idea in motion by soliciting any and all restaurants throughout the borough to participate in the event that will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1964 World's Fair by offering a three-course dinner - alcoholic beverages not included - for an appropriately set price of $19.64. The event runs from Oct. 4 through Oct. 8."This is a great way to discover Queens," Liu said at a press conference in his Flushing office. "Most are probably familiar with Manhattan's various fixed-price promotions. But we know that many restaurants in Queens are far superior and just need to be promoted better."Though a boroughwide event, its organizers are mainly from Flushing. Besides Liu, present at the conference were heads of the Flushing Business Improvement District and the Destination Flushing Cuisine Association, which promotes restaurants around the neighborhood. The first restaurant owners to sign up were based in Flushing.Acknowledging that his neighborhood was the backbone, Liu stressed the need for word to spread. "Flushing is the best part of the best borough in New York," he said. "It's known for its variety of restaurants so it makes sense to kick off this effort here. But our goal is to get people all over to patronize restaurants all over Queens."Terri Osborne, marketing and tourism director for the Queens Economic Development Corp., said her organization was using the success of past fixed-price promotions - such as Brooklyn's $18.98 dinner in April to celebrate the year all five boroughs united to form the city of New York - as indicators of how well Queens would fare. "I talked with people in Brooklyn who said they look forward to doing it again, maybe even twice a year," she said. Osborne said that the QEDC was asking all local business improvement districts to encourage restaurants to participate.Mabel Law, executive director of Flushing's BID, said of Queens, "one of the most attractive things are our restaurants," adding that the Discover Queens Restaurant Week would be a "unifying factor for Flushing."The deadline for restaurant registration is Aug. 18, although Osborne suggested that the date was flexible. Fancy or modest, all restaurants are welcome, she said, the only requirement being the $19.64 price that identifies the World's Fair theme. Participants will be listed at no cost in three full-page special feature ads in September sponsored by the TimesLedger Newspapers. Those restaurants interested may contact Liu's office at 718-888-0331 or the Queens Economic Development Corp. at 718-263-0594.Reach reporter Zach Patberg by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

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