Waco Restaurant Week

Harvest on 25th is one of more than 60 local businesses participating in Waco Restaurant Week starting Friday.

ESPN reporter and commentator Holly Rowe, who has a reputation for asking the tough questions, all with a sweet smile on her face, will speak at the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce’s Tip Off Luncheon scheduled Oct. 24 at the Baylor Club.

A quick scan online reveals that Rowe, a cancer survivor, has become a popular speaker at similar events around the country. She frequently visits Waco on assignment covering the Baylor University Lady Bears, who are fresh off their third national championship under head coach Kim Mulkey.

The Tip-Off Luncheon, part of the chamber’s annual lineup of sports-related fetes, will unfold from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the scheduled date. Others to attend include Mulkey, Baylor men’s basketball coach Scott Drew, McLennan Community College women’s head coach Ricky Rhodes and MCC men’s head coach Kevin Gill, according to a chamber press release.

Prior year speakers have included ESPN basketball analysts and former college coaches Fran Fraschilla and Carolyn Peck, legendary University of Indiana and Texas Tech University head coach Bobby Knight and former professional basketball player Marion Jones.

Tickets to the luncheon are $45, and tables for 10 are $450. Registration is available at wacochamber.com.

Tool thrift store

Friends for Life has spent the last several months collecting hundreds of used tools to stock the organization’s new tool thrift shop called The Tool Shed at 430 Lake Air Drive. Now the fun begins.

A grand opening is set for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday with food, a raffle, door prizes and more, according to a press release.

The shop is now open from 2 to 6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Profits from the shop will support the services Friends for Life provides for the local elderly and people with disabilities.

To donate tools or volunteer time, email tools@friendsforlife.org or call Easton Preston at 772-8100, ext. 501.

Friends for Life accepts working and nonworking home repair and building tools; hardware including screws, nails, cabinet and drawer pulls and hinges; gasoline-powered tools and craft materials. Donations can be made during store hours and from 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays. Pick-up is available for large donations.

‘From Idea To Table’

It is hard to imagine Waco has ever seen the explosion of food-and-drink establishments it now is experiencing. Walking downtown a new name pops up daily: a food truck here, a hideaway there, a new twist on and old theme lurking over yonder. Exotic coffees and desserts, tea shops, international dishes and “pop-ups,” as they are called, add spice to local cuisine.

Which is what Waco Restaurant Week is all about, exposing local tasters to new tastes, with a dash of training tossed in for good measure.

For example, a three-day breakfast series titled “From Idea To Table: Take Your Food/Beverage Concept to Reality” is scheduled from 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

Session 1 on Tuesday, “Prove Your Concept and Scale to Reality,” will take place at Pinewood Coffee Patio, 2223 Austin Ave., home to Pinewood Roasters.

Session 2 on Wednesday, “Customer identification — Who Do I Market To?” will take place in the Hustle co-working space, 605 Austin Ave., and include a panel discussion.

Session 3 on Thursday, “Marketing and PR: How to Tell Your Brand’s Story,” will conclude the series at Milo All Day, 1020 Franklin Ave.

Tickets are required for all but the second session, which is being offered with the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce’s 1 Million Cups series. For more information, visit wacorestaurantweek.com.

Anchor News anniversary

The Anchor News recently celebrated 17 years of serving Greater Waco with a focus on the African-American community, co-owner Linda Crawford said.

“According to statistics and reports all over the country, small community papers are shutting their doors, but after 17 years … The Anchor News is still standing,” Crawford wrote in a press release.

The Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce and Start Up Waco recently hosted a celebration of the occasion at the Hustle co-working space on Austin Avenue. Sascee’s Southern Style Eatery provided the finger foods, and Blue Note Jazz entertained, according to the press release.

Waco City Councilwoman Andrea Barefield presented a proclamation, and McLennan County Commissioner Pat Chisolm-Miller discussed the paper’s history.

Restaurant roundup

  • Pollo Regio is building a location near Collin Street Bakery on the Interstate 35 frontage road in Bellmead. Pollo Regio once upon a time had a short stay in a former Long John Silver’s building at 18th Street and Mitchell Avenue.
  • Eddy Garcia hosted a soft opening Saturday for his family’s second Helados La Azteca location in Waco. The new location for the purveyor of ice cream and fruit is at 15th Street and Colcord Avenue.
  • Waldy’s Pizza World opened Saturday in the Union Hall food hall at Eighth Street and Franklin Avenue, where finish-out work is continuing on a variety of other food and drink operations. Waldy’s is the first to open in the hall, a venture of developers Shane Turner and Todd Behringer.
  • Santiaga Soto has secured a permit to open a Tex-Mex restaurant, Taqueria Guerrero, at 18th Street and Summer Avenue, where a food trailer by the same name now operates.

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