The occasion of Valentine's Day generates lots of business in West Columbia. Dining and roses are a a part of the tradition that marks the day.
DeLucca's Italian Grill is at 1720 Sunset Boulevard, West Columbia.
"Valentine's dining is a reservation-only night for DeLucca's," said Lynn Raley, who works at the restaurant. "We have a set menu for Valentine's. And each table at DeLucca's also gets a rose" to help set a romantic mood.
DeLucca's Valentine's menu includes "bone in pan" seared elk or chicken Roulade. Also served for the special night are over whipped potatoes and Marsala cream spinach. DeLiucca's desert items include seductive triple chocolate cake or a creme brulee, both served with fresh berries.
Another Sunset Boulevard restaurant is Grecian Gardens at 2313 Sunset Boulevard.
"Valentines Day is a busy day for our restaurant and the the restaurant industry in general," said Vivi Koutrakos-Li of Grecian Gardens.
She also said Grecian Gardens takes some Valentine's reservations each year, but not all of its clientele is by reservation. The restaurant does alter its menu for the occasion.
"We don’t have a special menu but we like to feature something unique and tasty for our dinner specials," said Koutrakos-Li.
Al's Upstairs, at 300 Meeting Street, West Columbia is one of the most-popular venues for Valentine's dates.
"It's the most-romantic spot around," said Clair Bouknight, general manager for Al's Upstairs.
Al's takes reservations the day before Valentine's, the day of, and the day after. The restaurant is open only to reservations, and it's packed. Valentine's night is already totally booked, said Bouknight.
Items on the special Valentine's menu include: Crispy Flounder,Veal Saltimbocca, Filet Mignon, and Seabass.
Appetizers are: Calamari; Oysters Rockefeller; and Lobster Bisque.
This year Valentine's Day is on a Friday. Andrew Gabriel of Nick's House of Pizza at 1082 Sunset Boulevard said Fridays are always busy at the restaurant. He said Nick's does not require a reservation, but Nick's gets Valentine's couples. Some come in the day before to dine, or the day after.
Cafe Strudel- West Columbia, on State Street, is another restaurant that does not take reservations for Valentine's, but owner Trip Turbyfill said the restaurant will have a couple of specials available for Valentine's diners.
Black Rooster is another popular West Columbia restaurant. Owner Kristian Niemie said the French bistro takes reservations at Resy.com or you can call Black Rooster at 803-724-2853.
Niemie also points out that there is lots of parking for Black Rooster clientele in the Carraway Park lot, just steps away from the restaurant. The City of West Columbia parking garage is on Court Avenue at State Street, in the Brookland complex.
Terra is at 100 State Street. It's one of the most-popular restaurants in all the Midlands. If you would like to make a reservation please call the restaurant, 803-791-3443.
Terra is known for its sweeping views of the Columbia skyline, which guests enjoy from its dining room or patio. In the bar.
You'll need flowers, too.
The crew at Jarrett's Jungle, 1621 Sunset Boulevard is working overtime to prepare for the Valentine's onslaught, said Manager Brandon Davis.
"We have to get ready for Valentine's Day," said Davis. "It's one of the busiest days of the year for us. The flowers start coming in a week before."
Jarrett's sells lots of orchids, roses, cut flowers and Euorpean baskets for Valentines. Davis said the staff comes in early and can work past midnight to prepare for and meet demand.
Matt Evans of Three Oaks Florist at 142 State Street also said Valentine's Day is his busiest day of the year, with the exception of Mother's Day.
"We see a huge spike in business for Valentine's said Evans. He also had a very important message to floral-buyers.
"Shop local," he said And do not use wire services like FTD, Teleflora or 1-800-FLOWERS. Evans said those brokers act as "the middle man" taking part of amount for the floral purchase and keeping it. He said call your local florist directly, or go to their authentic website to order.
"Go with a locally owned business," Evans said. He said you will get a higher quality product for your money and the local business will stand behind what it sells.
Evans also said it helps keep money in the community when you use local business.
"We support other local businesses in West Columbia," Evans said. "We buy our flowers from local growers whenever we can."
Local florists will also be more creative and let you know if one flower is substituted for another.
And if you don't like roses, there is an option.
"We took an online poll, and surprisingly 60 percent said they'd rather receive a potted hydrangea for Valentine's," said Evans.
So there you have it. Valentine's Day is a week or so away. And West Columbia gives you lots of options. It's time to make your plans.
Sightler's Florist and Marketplace is at 716 Meeting Street in West Columbia. the floral and gift shop specializes in a variety of fresh flowers and creative gift ideas to suit any style. Call Sightler's at (803) 794-2859.