SCRANTON, Pa. — Orders were coming in hot on Thursday at restaurants in downtown Scranton.
It's the return of Restaurant Fest, the University of Scranton's Commuter Student Association-sponsored meals at 18 downtown restaurants and cafes.
"Last year, we did a quick, not even an official survey, but just a 'Hey, what do you think?' And we had overwhelming, 'That was amazing. I loved it!" said Jimmy Greenfield, the president of the commuter student association.
The idea is to get students off campus to explore what the area offers and hopefully become repeat customers. So on Thursday, 150 students picked up their restaurant routes and headed off on their quest for flavor.
"It's a great way for the U to give back to the community, and it's a great way to introduce students to some great food," said Greenfield.
Chef Von & Mom on Linden Street is one of the participating restaurants. Owners say they jumped at the opportunity to get involved after opening their doors just one month ago.
"It's nice to be a part of the community. They are right here. They pass by here, so they've been wondering what's going on. So it's nice for them to finally come in and see what we've been working on and what we are doing here," said owner Ryan Von Smith.
Many students tell Newswatch 16 they didn't know some of the businesses were so close to campus, but others say they make it a point to get out and about to support local.
"My friends and I love to come down here, and being a grad student, I've seen a lot of places come and go, but it's always exciting to try new places," Sophie Semel said.
Organizers say they're already planning for next year's Restaurant Fest to make it bigger and better.
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