Restaurants vying to attract DNC customers
by Staff Writer
Diners at Toast Cafe have a big decision to make leading up to 2012 Democratic National Convention and subsequent presidential election.
Will it be the Romelet or Obamelet?
Toast Café’s Davidson and Dilworth locations will feature the two political takes on the traditional omelet, bearing the names of this year’s Democratic and Republican presumptive contenders for the president. Patrons can cast their vote for their favorite omelets at the restaurant’s location in Davidson and Dilworth or through an online poll at www.toasthousecafe.com.
“We were able to come up with ingredients that both candidates like,” said Patrick Burchill, manager of the restaurant’s Davidson location.
The Obamelet features thick cut bacon, broccoli, spinach and cheddar cheese served with fresh fruit and wheat toast. The Romelet includes meatloaf, caramelized onions and American cheese, served with cheesy grits and sourdough toast.
Like many restaurants in the Lake Norman area, Burchill said he hopes to attract customers attending the DNC the week of Sept. 3 in Charlotte – especially one big name in particular.
“We would love to get the president in to try his omelet,” Burchill said.
Burchill couldn’t reveal which candidate was in the lead, but said the tally will be revealed sometime between the DNC and Election Day. The restaurant started a radio advertising campaign that features the Obamelet and Romelet in June.
Other area restaurants have teamed up with Visit Lake Norman – the area’s tourism board – to promote their dining discounts throughout the convention.
Brian’s Dog House, Bruster’s Ice Cream, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs, Choplin’s, Egg at Davidson Café, Domino’s Pizza and Taste of Buffalo Pizzeria will offer deals. More are expected to join in the coming week, said Courtney Wolfrom, marketing and communications manager for Visit Lake Norman.
Jennifer Battaglia, manager of Taste of Buffalo Pizzaria in Huntersville, said she thinks the restaurant’s unique atmosphere and reputation for authentic Buffalo-style wings and pizza will attract convention business.
“(The restaurant) is just something totally different that you can find at chain- type restaurant,” she said. “We use fresh produce and everything is made from scratch.”
Taste of Buffalo will offer a free personal pizza with every 10 wings bought during convention week.
On Aug. 20, all convention dining deals in Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville will be featured online on a Visit Lake Norman DNC landing page and advertised to attract convention participants. Restaurants don’t have to pay to have to advertise with Visit Lake Norman, Wolfrom said.
VLN has also worked with DNC organizers to secure 12 Cornelius, Huntersville and Davidson hotels for the convention.
According to Visit Lake Norman’s website, state delegates, members of the media and Democratic party members and politicians have committed to almost 12,000 nights at lake-area hotels.
The Democratic National Committee estimates that the convention will have a $150-$200 million impact on the Charlotte region.