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Huntington Restaurants to Promote America’s Best Communities Competition

HUNTINGTON – Local restaurants are teaming up to support Huntington’s efforts to win the America’s Best Communities competition.

Starting Oct. 19 and occurring once a month through April, participating restaurants will host ABC8 Restaurant Night. The goal of the recurring event is to generate excitement and community pride during the final months of the competition, said Ava Gibson Bicknell, owner of Savannah’s and co-chairwoman of the ABC8 Restaurant Night Committee.

“Throughout the America’s Best Communities competition, Huntington’s citizens and business community have had several opportunities to get involved and tell the country why our city is such a wonderful place to live, work and play.” Bicknell said. “Huntington is well-known for its eclectic mix of locally-owned restaurants, so we wanted to do our part to help bring home the grand prize.”

During ABC8 Restaurant Night, customers of participating restaurants are encouraged to check in on social media at the restaurant and post why they think Huntington is America’s best community. They are also encouraged to use the hashtags #abc8 and #abc8restaurantnight.

“Community engagement is one of the categories that Huntington will be judged on to determine the winner of the competition,” said Drew Hetzer, owner of Backyard Pizza and Raw Bar and co-chairman of the ABC8 Restaurant Night Committee. “We’re hoping everyone will show their support for Huntington by coming out to all of the participating restaurants and sharing what they love about our community on social media.”

ABC8 Restaurant Night is scheduled for Oct. 19, Nov. 16, Dec. 21, Jan. 18, Feb. 15, March 15 and April 12. Participating restaurants include Savannah’s; Backyard Pizza and Raw Bar; Bittersweet Coffeehouse; Nawab Indian Cuisine; Crumpets & Tea; River and Rail Bakery; 21 at the Frederick; La Famiglia; Central City Café; Le Bistro; The Bodega; Prime on 4th; Black Sheep Burrito & Brews; Paula Vega Cupcakes; Jim's Steak & Spaghetti House; Grindstone Coffeeology; Midway; and Rio Grande.

Participating restaurants are invited to donate a small portion of their proceeds from those days to Huntington’s America’s Best Communities effort, although it is not required.

Restaurants that would like to participate in ABC8 Restaurant Night or have questions are asked to contact Margaret Mary Layne at Restaurants that only serve breakfast and/or lunch are eligible to join.

Huntington is one of eight finalists in the nationwide America’s Best Communities competition, which is sponsored by Frontier Communications, The Weather Channel, DISH and CoBank.

America’s Best Communities is a multi-stage competition that will provide seed money and other support to assist small communities as they develop new economic growth strategies. The top three communities — those with the most innovative proposals being effectively implemented — will share a total of $6 million in prize money. The winning communities will be announced April 26, 2017, and will be awarded $3 million for first place, $2 million for second place and $1 million for third.

For more information about the competition, visit

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