From virtual dance parties to hot cocoa bombs, Evanston businesses celebrate Valentine’s Day


Graphic by Katie Jahns

Evanston businesses are coming up with creative ways to help residents celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Wendy Klunk, Reporter

Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day with a significant other, celebrating a lover from afar, or taking the day to treat yourself, Evanston small businesses have you covered with valentine-themed foods, unique gifts and other fun ways to celebrate.

Fine eats 

La Cocinita is serving specialty breakfast sandwiches that will include heart-shaped eggs along with meat, cheese and a sauce between two heart-shaped arepas.

“We’re not a fine-dining restaurant that takes Valentine’s Day really seriously,” owner Rachel Angulo said. “This is our fun take on how to celebrate sweetly.”

Individual heart-shaped cheese-filled arepas will also be available for purchase.

Evanston restaurants also have dine-in and takeout options for Valentine’s Day dinners. The Peckish Pig is serving a take-and-bake three-course dinner for two, including steak, lobster, broccolini, potatoes and a heart-shaped molten lava cake. 

General manager Janek Evans said he is excited about what the restaurant has to offer and he “might even snag” a meal for himself.

The restaurant is also offering homemade chocolate covered strawberries, rose bouquets in partnership Saville Flowers, and bottles of rosé bubbles, all available to purchase à la carte style.

Sweet treats

Interactive desserts are taking over the internet and make for great Valentine’s Day surprises. Lauren Lovinger Barrett, owner of Honestly Organic Cakes, is hopping on the trend and selling hot chocolate bombs filled with heart-shaped marshmallows and decorated with red and white sprinkles. 

“They’re super fun and it’s a really great way to get that fun restaurant experience of being ‘wowed’ when you’re at home,” Barrett said.

Sandra Silva, owner of Sandy Sweet Cake Creations, hopes customers will feel “excited, happy and amazed” when they break open the chocolate heart she is offering. Silva said the heart will be filled with candies, but customers can also add in whatever surprises they want inside, from gift cards to jewelry.

Sandy Sweet Cake Creations will also sell hot chocolate bombs and cookie cakes this holiday.

Get moving for love

In an effort to create community joy, Main-Dempster Mile and Soul Stories Live are teaming up for 2021 Love Fest – A Virtual Valentine’s Experience from 5-7pm on Feb. 14. The event will feature popular music, dancing and competitions with prizes from Evanston businesses. 

DJ and event producer Johnny Price said he looks forward to playing family-friendly 70’s, 80’s and 90’s tracks.

“The goal is to create awareness for the local area businesses and foster some positive, good times,” Price said.

Gifts from the Heart

For a classic Valentine’s Day gift, the jewelry boutique Ayla’s Originals is selling a “heart to heart” necklace made of a freshwater pearl with a small ruby attached to it. All other jewelry in the store is currently 20 percent off.

For a less traditional gift, Bookends & Beginnings is offering a Valentine’s Day promotion called “Blind Date with a Book,” where customers can purchase a book that is wrapped up in paper with a one-sentence description. Owner Nina Barrett said it is her way of promoting quality reads.

“We want to encourage people to take a risk,” Barrett said. “Maybe you think you don’t like mysteries but you are intrigued by the description of the book, and since it’s only 3 dollars it’s not that big a deal if you decide to read it, and you might love it.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @WKlunk

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