Valentine’s not deterred by weather

Published 12:49 pm Wednesday, February 14, 2007

By By ANDY HAMILTON / Niles Daily Star
NILES – Preparations for Valentine's Day were under way Tuesday across Niles.
Restaurants in town were taking their final dinner reservations, and students were busy getting ready for classroom parties. Dinner plans may not be deterred by the weather, but students at Niles and Brandywine will have to wait until Thursday to exchange Valentine's gestures in class parties.
Second grade students in the class of Shirley Dodson and Merideth Pierce at Merritt Elementary School were busy Tuesday afternoon cutting and gluing heart-covered mailboxes for classmates to deliver Valentine's Day greetings to. The group had also made flowers in the shapes of hearts in art class, and was waiting for Wednesday's party to play Valentine's games.
Valentine's Day is one of the busiest nights at Millennium Steakhouse in Niles. The evening ranks right at the top along with Mother's Day, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, said Virginia Martin, a hostess at Millennium Steakhouse. Reservation requests started pouring in a month before the holiday, she added.
"We started filling up probably mid January. People started calling early and people are still calling today. We're pretty booked solid right now," Martin said.
At 4 p.m. Tuesday, Martin said the restaurant was only taking reservations for the 9 p.m. slot. Millennium tries to make the holiday unique with a special Valentine's Day menu and by offering customers the chance to add to their tab six red roses and a vase.
Riverfront Cafe in downtown Niles was also filling up quickly by Tuesday afternoon. Cafe manager Allison Watson said they stopped taking reservations for the main floor, and added there was a Valentine's Day party of 20 for dinner upstairs.
"Probably in the past week it's been [getting] pretty full," Watson said.
Riverfront staff decorated the walls and tables for Valentine's Day over the weekend, and they too are offering a few special items on Wednesday's menu.