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Wednesday's Dishcrawl Hopes to Build a Buzz for Santa Cruz Restaurants

The national movement that started in San Jose has its local debut Wednesday downtown.

There are only three tickets left to Wednesday's first Dishcrawl through Santa Cruz Wednesday. You can get them here.

Started by foodie Tracy Lee, Dishcrawl is a chance to try four restaurants in one night along with about 45 of your new friends.

The company doesn't announce in advance which restaurants it will take you to, but it does promise three courses in each to show off the chefs and stuff your tummies.

"This brings restaurants to the forefront," says Wesley Katayama, who organized the Santa Cruz foray. "This gets restaurants and staffs to reach out and introduce themselves and it lets people see these places in a new light."

He says the format builds loyal customers because they get to see the inner workings of the restaurant and meet the people they might miss if they were just out for a meal.

The company has been taking off, with crawls from Vancouver to South Carolina. Lee started it because she often found herself entertaining friends from out of town and looking for special foods for them. Here's an interview with Lee on KQED.org.

The San Jose State University graduate worked in marketing for Brocade before starting her own company in 2010. She told Content magazine that she first thought of a website with menus, but realized that what was really missing was a way to tour restaurants, not just read about them.

Katayama wouldn't reveal the names of restaurants they'd be touring (Patch will cover) for a $45 cover, but hinted that one is new and another is more thought of as a bar, but has fine food as well.

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