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Local Restaurant Week starts Monday

Locally owned restaurants are putting out the welcome mat for new customers, from Grand Island to Corfu, as Local Restaurant Week’s spring edition starts Monday and continues through Sunday.

More than 200 Western New York restaurants are offering $20.13 meals and more specials as a way to tempt first-timers. For example: $20.13 will get you lunch for two at Scotch and Sirloin (3999 Maple Road, Amherst, 837-4900), with a pair of 8-ounce steaks and accompaniments, or dinner for two at North Star Tavern (7340 Seneca St., East Aurora, 652-1831).

Whether you use it as a chance to dine on a budget or as an excuse to peek inside a new place while limiting the damage to your wallet, check out the offers.

Restaurants participating for the first time include Prosit, Boomerangs, the reopened Canvas @ 1206, Epic Restaurant & Lounge and Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar.

At Duke’s (253 Allen St., 240-9359), owner Gabrielle Alfieri said three years of work inside the former corner bar has created a venue that combines live music with full dinner service. It will be three years in July since she and her husband, Patrick “Doogie” Duquin, took over.

Duquin, the former Hutch’s manager and co-owner, built a kitchen into the place, and it’s time for the big reveal, she said. They’ll have a seafood or steak special, plus smoked chicken wings and a “something for everyone” pub menu.

“We’ve evolved so much,” Alfieri said. “It’s been three years of building and renovating, and we finally feel like what we have to offer is up to par.

“We wanted to invite some new potential clients and friends in here and see what we’re doing.”