Restaurants and businesses opened their doors and greeted visitors as part of the Taste of Downtown event Saturday.

The event was hosted by the Waxahachie Downtown Merchants Association to showcase what businesses downtown have to offer.

People could purchase a ticket card from the Ellis County Museum allowing them to visit the 14 participating merchants for samples.

Taking part were 1879 Chisholm Grill, Boyce Grain and Feed, Odom’s Barbeque, Oma’s Jiffy Burger, Plato Loco, the Texas Theater, Whitley’s Philly Grille, Riley’s Bakery and Cafe, Doves Nest, Catfish Plantation, Gunbarrel Barbeque, College Street Pub, Chantilly Place Tea Room and the Soap Goddess.

Stephanie Otto, owner of 1879 Chisholm Grill, said the event brought people downtown and helped market the restaurant.

“We have had a lot of traffic come through here today (and) a lot of people realized that we are back open. Unfortunately, we are the ones that lost the restaurant back in January and we have relocated here into the Rogers Hotel,” Otto said. “This event is helping with exposure and people find out. People have been saying that they are so happy we are back. We are very happy to be a part of this.”

At 1879 Chisholm Grill, people could sample dessert items that included chocolate pie, bread pudding and coconut pie.

Down the street, at College Street Pub, people could sample the restaurant’s raspeno dip, which is a blend of raspberries, jalapenos and cream cheese, and its coronation chicken salad.

“People have been really enjoying themselves,” College Street Pub owner Wayne Strickland said. “I think one lady commented on how spread out (the participants) were, so, if you were going to get to all of them you were going to have to make quite a big trip. But that is OK because that gives them the chance to see the community down here.”

Robert Shugart enjoyed the sample of cheese steak offered at Whitley’s Philly Grille and said he would be back again as a customer.

Shirley Davis, who also purchased a ticket card, agreed the event is a good way to see what downtown has to offer.

Over at the Texas Theater, people could sample fresh popcorn and have a look at the venue.

“People find it surprising that there are so many different places that you can go to eat and drink,” theater manager Tim Eaton said. “I think the people that are coming in are liking the fact that for $5 they can go to different locations and sample what is going on. It has been a great idea.”

Contact Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews.com or 469-517-1458.