Even though there’s a multitude of area couples who try to avoid Valentine’s Day crowds at restaurants by celebrating the holiday of love before or after Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day is still a day of packed restaurants.
Or it was. This year, with a pandemic hanging over the holiday and limited capacity at restaurants, some plans are sure to have been flipped. But not for everyone.
“No change here. My husband and I have always celebrated Valentine’s the night before at a restaurant,” Oak Forest resident Rosie Davis said. “On Valentine’s we cook a nice meal at home.”
Davis said the Valentine’s Day dinner at home has become a family event.
“It gets pretty fancy,” she said. “My parents love it, especially my dad. I’m one of five girls and when we were little he would buy an ice cream cake on Valentine’s for us. Then we grew up. Now he gets to celebrate Valentine’s with us again.”
Liz Christensen, another Oak Forest resident, is also keeping things the same this year.
“My husband is the cook in our family and he makes sushi every Valentine’s Day,” Christensen said.
Some other local residents said they still planned to celebrate the holiday like they normally would, but are changing up when they do it. One is celebrating during breakfast on Saturday, and another said they were going to wait until Monday night.
Some area residents plan to have a date night in to keep it both simple and safe.
Heights resident Rebecca Fredric and her husband celebrate the night before at a nice restaurant. She said they both consider themselves foodies and use Valentine’s Day as an excuse to spend more money than they normally do.
“This year, we thought it would be better to stay in just in case the restaurants got crowded,” Fredric said. “But we still wanted great food. I’m not the best cook, so we’re going to do one of those to-go packages from a local restaurant. We haven’t decided from where yet, but I’m excited to see how it will change the experience.”
The experience that Fredric mentioned is the dim-lit atmosphere restaurants have during dinner on Valentine’s that promotes “romance.” She said she’s not sure her dining room will give the same vibe, but she isn’t too worried about it.
“I really only get excited about Valentine’s Day because of the food,” Fredric said.
Trisha Layne, on the other hand, is bummed that she’s had to change plans from eating out to eating in.
“The 13th is my anniversary, so we’ve always celebrated it with Valentine’s Day,” Layne said. “I love the day of love, and I know that some people don’t care about it, but I love the idea there’s a day dedicated to giving someone you love a box of candy and a teddy bear.”
Instead of going out this weekend, Layne and her husband are cooking at home and celebrating with their kids.