For bar owners and operators, Valentine’s Day is a holiday that brings out those star-crossed lovers, as well as the lovelorn, and both are looking to either celebrate or commiserate about the state of their respective love lives. If you haven’t planned what you’re doing for Valentine’s Day, now’s the time to start. A few additional love “potions” on the cocktail menu, as well as fun desserts and tasting menus, are just the start to what will make your spot one of the most memorable places to be. If you need some stimulating ideas, check out some of our favorite promotions from past and present.
McGillin’s Olde Ale House, a Philadelphia tavern, is serving up a few cocktails, including the Love Potion, Chocolate Martini and Passion Punch to its customers on Valentine’s Day. Along with the regular menu food, McGillin’s also will serve a supplementary tasting menu including Heart & “Sole,” Love Stout Stew and Heart ”Beet” Salad.
Chicagoans are invited to Cityscape to celebrate Valentine’s Day by enjoying romantic panoramic views of the Windy City’s downtown River North. The Valentine’s Day promo will include cocktails, wine and Champagne specials along with a specialty appetizer, a prosciutto, crab and spinach Rangoon with rice noodles and Thai peanut sauce for $9. Guests also are invited to sample $7 specialty Martinis Feb. 10-14.
For all those singletons, a great promo from last year comes from Washington, D.C. Patrons in the district who wanted to avoid all those swooning couples went to Bar Pilar. The bar hosted an anti-Valentine’s Day party, serving signature drink The Bitter End, a cocktail made with whiskey, amaro, ginger liqueur and lime juice, as well as a “sour” dessert, for those bitter patrons.
Because Valentine’s Day isn’t always about love, scorned patrons have an outlet, as well. In fact, they can unleash at Love Bites: The Power Ballad Sing-along at Union Hall in New York on Feb. 14 at 10 p.m. for a cover of $8. Guests will sing along to power ballads by Journey, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, The Bangles and more. The event also includes an air-guitar competition, a power-ballad costume contest and a best “worst breakup” story contest; prizes for winners include a pack of tickets to the Awesome '80s prom at Webster Hall, winner of Nightclub & Bar's 2011 Nightclub of the Year award. The Union Hall event will offer themed drinks, such as the Eternal Flame, Kiss from a Rose, More Than Words and Love Bites, as well as free Valentine’s Day heart candy.
Bar Anticipation in Lake Como, N.J., is hosting its first Valentine’s Day event on Feb. 11. The Single Glow event will change the way people meet each other. The event also is supporting the Mama Mare Foundation Fund to help find a cure for breast cancer. The all-day event starting at 1 p.m. features six bands, and vendors will be selling Valentine’s Day gifts. The event also includes a buffet, a gift auction and drink specials.
At ItaliAsia in Chicago, guests can celebrate Valentine’s Day from Feb. 10-14 with a $35-per-person romantic dinner for two prix-fixe menu. Diners will enjoy a three-course dinner, as well as a dessert. On Feb. 11, the dinner package includes dancing to The Stitely Orchestra in the Wolf Point Ballroom at the restaurant.
At Pinstripes, with locations in Northbrook and South Barrington, Ill., as well as in Edina, Minn., Valentine’s Day starts on Feb. 10 and lasts until Feb. 14. Guests are treated to heart-shaped pizzas, a complimentary Champagne toast and Frangelico chocolate cake.
If your bar or club has TouchTunes, every year the company does an annual love survey across their network, that launches Feb. 1 and runs through Feb. 14. Guests answer questions about their love life and TouchTunes compiles the data. All of this takes place at bars; last year, 250,000 people participated.