For the love of money; Valentine Market Soars

By on February 12, 2013

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), Valentine’s Day this year is estimated to pump over $18.6 billion into the economy. Businesses in Birmingham expect a portion of that revenue by offering several events and promotional offers.

Enjoy a nice candlelight dinner this Valentine Season. Randi Prasetyo Flickr

Enjoy a nice candlelight dinner this Valentine Season. Randi Prasetyo Flickr

Valentine’s Day shoppers spent an average of $126.03 in 2012, and the number is expected a rise an additional four dollars this year, according to the NRF’s Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions and Actions survey. Local businesses are hosting numerous events of equal cost—or less.

“It [Valentine’s Day] is an event that encourages a lot of commerce because of the purchase of gifts in retail and dining in restaurants. Indirectly, it benefits the suppliers in industries throughout the country. Through retail and entertainment, the economy benefits because of activities,” said Samuel Addy, Director of University of Alabama’s Center for Business and Economic Research.

Cahaba Brewing Company’s “Valentine’s at Cahaba Brewing Company” is ideal for beer-lovers who are “tired of the same old song and dance on Valentine’s Day,” as stated by the brewery’s Facebook event.

DJ Zach Banks will be performing and Off the Hook food truck will provide catering. Cahaba Brewing Company asks its attendees to “Rise Up with us and the world in bringing awareness to end violence towards women.” The free event is Feb. 14, 6:30-10 p.m.

To avoid the Valentine’s Day crowd and enjoy a night out, Birmingham Ballet is pre-selling tickets to Neverland that range from $25-45 per ticket. The performance is Feb. 22-24, with varying show times.

“Neverland is about a place where love never grows old. The performance is Valentine’s Day-themed and incorporates mixed reparatory pieces about love,” said Elizabeth Fuller, Birmingham Ballet Marketing Director. “We love being able to give professional, pre-professional, community dancers, and actors an outlet to perform and inspire audiences.”

The typical Valentine’s dinner for two jumps from $70 to over $146, according to Zagat, a restaurant ratings guide. OpenTable, a restaurant reservation website, surveyed reservation holders and found that Valentine’s diners planned to match or increase their bill from last year.

J. Clyde: Hot Rock Tavern and Alehouse is offering a 3-course beer dinner for $57 before tax and gratuity or a 3-course non-beer dinner for $47 before tax and gratuity.

The menu for Feb. 14 features J. Clyde Dark Ale, lentil soup, Chilean sea bass or roasted tomato linguine, and Nutella beignets. Reservations are required.

Brio Tuscan Grille is offering a taste of Italy right in Birmingham with its $23.95 special per person on Feb. 14, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. The Valentine’s menu includes blackened crab-crusted scallop atop spicy orzo pasta with asparagus, tomatoes and sweet potatoes, garnished with a limoncello sauce. The regular menu also available.

Café De Paris is offering a 3-course dinner for $100 per couple; $110 with a glass of champagne each; $125 with a bottle of wine. The special is available Feb. 14, 5-10 p.m.

The dinner includes choice of oysters Rockefeller, salmon and crab ravioli, or parmesan cheese soufflé; choice of roasted veal scaloppini, grilled duck breast; panko-crusted flounder, sea scallops, grilled T-bone steak, or baked salmon steak stuffed with asparagus; choice of chocolate heart cake, raspberry layer cake, or pistachio and rosemary crème brulee.

Kaylyn Alexander
Staff Writer

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