Daily file photo by Alison Albelda
Over 30 of Downtown Evanston’s businesses are sharing the love this Valentine’s Day weekend with special deals, events and offers for you and yours.
Restaurants will feature holiday menus and group discounts while retail stores are offering sales and festive programming. Local spas and fitness companies are encouraging locals to treat themselves. For many businesses, the festivities will continue through Sunday.
The National Retail Federation predicts that consumer spending will jump to record heights this Valentine’s Day weekend, thanks to strong employment and higher wages nationwide. Customers are planning to spend, on average, up to 21 percent more this Valentine’s Day than they spent last year.
Kilwins, 1724 Sherman Ave., is promoting limited-time-only treats on Friday. Pre-orders have already begun for chocolate-dipped strawberries, which assistant manager Jeff Helenthal said only grace the shop once a year. He expects Kilwins will sell hundreds of strawberries for the holiday.
“They’re locally-sourced strawberries, so they have to be picked up that day, made that morning and sold by the end of the day,” Helenthal said.
Friends, countrymen and lovers can also share buy-one-get-one-free scoops of Kilwins ice cream from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, as well as buy-two-get-one-free fudge slices.
Customers can relax with tea, scones, tarts and sandwiches at the Celtic Knot Public House, 626 Church St., and participate in holiday afternoon tea from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday.
“It’s really nice to take some time out and enjoy with whoever you might love,” co-owner Liz Breslin said.
She added that couples enjoy Valentine’s teatime, but the Celtic Knot also provides a comfortable space to welcome any type of relationship. Breslin said she extends a warm welcome for friends to bring friends, and even for grandparents to bring grandchildren.
With two entrée orders, the Celtic Knot will also offer a complimentary Valentine’s dessert plate from Thursday to Sunday. The plate includes a chocolate brownie a la mode, a red velvet crepe with fresh homemade whipped cream and strawberries and a Bailey’s Irish cream crème brŭlée.
The Celtic Knot will also sell the plate for the next few weeks.
And should Cupid miss his shot this Friday, gigi BOTTEGA, 612 Davis St., boutique will pick up the slack. The store will throw a special Galentine’s Day celebration and sale from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
While customers shop, they can snack on treats and sip champagne. Discounts include 20 percent off all regular priced items and 50 percent off all winter scarves, hats and gloves.
Manager Angelica D’Costa said the boutique is offering new arrivals for customers looking forward to a fresh start with spring trends.
“It doesn’t feel like spring yet, but I think people are ready,” D’Costa said. “It’s good to go out with friends, or get out with your mom, your sister or your family.”