RESTAURANT Week Toledo's kickoff party presented by Hylant was Feb. 19 in the Secor Building.
The fourth annual Restaurant Week Toledo is presented by Medical Mutual and organized by Leadership Toledo, an organization for adults and teens which promotes community leadership and involvement. Restaurant Week started Feb. 24 and runs through Sunday, so there is still plenty of time to try out a few of the 31 participating restaurants offering lunches and dinners at $10, $20, and $30. For details, go to restaurantweektoledo.com or call Leadership Toledo at 419-241-7371.
The kickoff party was a sold-out event with more than 300 attendees of all ages. The evening included samples from participating restaurants, wine and craft beer tastings from area distributors, and musical entertainment.
Also fun was the "Experience Toledo" raffle valued at more than $1,000 and won by Stephanie Bodette. Champagne, dinner at Registry Bistro with private transportation by Yark BMW, pampering, jewelry, an in-home wine tasting, Toledo Walleye and Valentine Theatre tickets, and more were all part of the prize.
The $6,000 proceeds from the kickoff party support Leadership Toledo's youth programs. Kudos to event chairmen Margot Estes and Becca Gorman, board trustees.
ASTRONAUT Don Thomas was in Toledo Feb . 21 for a book signing of his recently released Orbit of Discovery: The All-Ohio Space Shuttle Mission, co-authored by Mike Bartell, a retired Blade night city editor. The event was at Thomas' favorite Toledo restaurant, Tony Packo's.
In 1995, after the July mission, he spoke at Glenwood Elementary School in Rossford, then visited Packo's. He fell in love with the Hungarian food and made sure Packo's Hot Dog Sauce was included on his next shuttle missions. There is a photograph at Packo's Original location on Front Street taken in space with two cans of Hot Dog Sauce floating in front of Mr. Thomas. Of course, his signed and lacquered hot dog bun is on the wall of fame with other buns autographed by celebrities including Toledo's Jamie Farr.
JOE Metzger, of Metzger's Printing, which was founded in 1976 as Type House, gathered with family and friends to celebrated his big 5-0 birthday. There was a lot of merriment with presents, cake, libations, and dancing as they celebrated Mr. Metzger's life.
CLIFFORD Murphy, a nationally recognized bassist, belatedly celebrated his 82nd birthday. A big bash was planned earlier in the month, but it was canceled because of nasty winter weather. Because he missed the actual day, he had two celebrations last week. One was Feb. 19 at the Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Toledo for a Jazz Jam presented by the Art Tatum Jazz Society, and the other was Feb. 21 at the Toledo Club for Jazz in the Red Room.
BOATING season will soon be here, one of these days, after the snow melts. In the meantime, a pre-boating season party is slated for March 8 at the Toledo Yacht Club on the club's opening night. The 26th annual Back-to-the-Bay party with two live bands starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10. More than 1,000 people have been known to attend the event, which is open to the public.
Also at Toledo Yacht Club is the Armory Inn, open to the public Fridays and Saturdays starting March 8, 5:30-8:30 p.m. with the bar open 5 p.m. to midnight. The yacht club is at 3900 N. Summit St., across from Detwiler Park. Reservations are not required but recommended by calling 419-726-3485. Attire is casual.