Ten dollars off dinner at a swanky place might not be enough to get you in the door. But if you're going out for dinner in Western New York - to Restorante Lombardo, Betty's, Sample, Sole, Encore, Shango Bistro, Blue Monk or 39 more of our nicer places - you might reach for your dining deck.
At $20 for the deck, you'd have to suddenly embrace monasticism to avoid recouping your investment.
Here's the skinny: There are 46 cards worth $10 off a bill of more than $25, not including alcohol, tax or tip. There are no blackout dates, said Buffalo Dining Cards creator Patrick Finan. You can't combine it with other discounts, use it on takeout, or use more than one card per party, he said, but that's all the fine print.
They're good through December 2011.
Finan, the creative design entrepreneur behind Block Club Magazine, said he got the idea from a deck from New York City. "There's a couple other cities around the country that have similar products," he said.
The deck itself was designed with the local economy in mind, Finan said. "Only locally owned places are in the deck," Finan said. They're on sale at Valu Home Center stores, other shops listed at BuffaloDiningCards.com, and through the website itself.
Instead of having the 20,000 decks printed in China, Finan went local. "It cost an extra 25 cents per deck to produce, or something, but we got it printed in Rochester," he said. "We tried to keep that money in the economy, as close to home as we could."
One dollar from each deck will go to the Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo Foundation, he said.