Most of those restaurants will have the same goals in mind — to provide exposure for their business and their food and to give back to the community.
There’s another benefit, Bishop said. The event helps keep dining dollars in Carrollton.
“There’s a spirit about Taste of Carrollton, that all the participants will tell you, is anything we can do to keep our customers in Carrollton,” rather than leaving the county, said Bishop, general manager of the Carrollton Chick-fil-A.
“It’s just such a wonderful event for the city,” he said. “And for us to be involved, and we like to be involved in the community as much as we can, Taste of Carrollton is an event where you have such a wonderful choice of all the different restaurants in town. We enjoy being there. We have raving fans, but you have raving fans for all the restaurants.”
The 21st Taste of Carrollton, which is sponsored by the Carrollton Main Street program, is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 20, from 5:30-8 p.m.
“With the success of last year’s event under our belt, we are excited about the new changes and additions that this year will bring,” said Main Street Director Jessica Reynolds. “For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to attend this event, last year’s Taste featured 45 local restaurants’ culinary creations and specialty items for your dining pleasure.”
Visitors to the event can purchase tickets to exchange for their bite-sized “tastes” from each restaurant. Tickets are valued at $1 apiece and can be purchased with cash or credit cards.
Funds raised from this year’s Taste will reinstate the Downtown Facade Grant Program. Due to budgetary constraints this program was cut in 2010.
“Over the past 15 years, these grants have helped revitalize downtown storefronts and preserve our historic standards while maintaining the charm and historical integrity of Adamson Square,” Reynolds said.
This year’s Taste will feature a performance from country music star and former Carrollton resident Bill Gentry. Premiering this year is a “Food & Brew” package. For $20, purchasers can try unlimited samplings of specialty craft beers from two Atlanta breweries — Red Hare Brewing Company and Monday Night Brewing — and will receive five food tickets, a commemorative cup and an event wristband. The Food & Brew package will be available for purchase online only and can be picked up at a special “FAB” tent at the event.
Regular food tickets are also on sale now and can be purchased at Horton’s Bookstore, Elle Salon, Merle Norman, The Nest, The Squire Shop, and City Hall, as well as at the event.
This will be the second Taste for American Pie Pizzeria. The Carrollton restaurant has been in business for only two years, but gained exposure from participating in last year’s event.
“Last year was a very good opportunity to introduce ourselves to the community,” said American Pie owner Max Hartman. Being new in business, he said, “a lot of people had never seen or heard of us.”
Taste of Carrollton, he said, helped find new customers and “reinforce” its established patrons.
“It is a nice event,” Hartman said. “You get right next to someone who’s your competition, but it’s all in fun. And it helps promote Carrollton. You highlight the community while telling your own story.”
In addition to pizza, the American Pie booth will have full menus available, as well as promoting its discounts and diner cards.
Chick-fil-A is among the veteran restaurants of the events. Bishop said Chick-fil-A has participated in “at least” the last nine events.
“It’s a wonderful event,” Bishop said. “We’re out there to push Chick-fil-A, but we like to be involved in community. It’s all about giving back to community and pushing Carrollton.”
This year’s Taste of Carrollton is sponsored by Roenigk Digital Craft, the Times-Georgian and Gradick Communications.