Offering a welcome break from the winter chill, Valentine’s Day is the chance to shake off the snow and snuggle up for a romantic date. Boasting the best in dining, drinking, and entertainment, the Short North Arts District is the best bet for a memorable night out. No place else in town can promise a night on February 14 as romantic one spent under the light of the Short North Arts District arches.


On Paper
737 N. High St

For a special note to a loved one, On Paper is here for all your stationery needs. Their new series of Valentine’s Day cards and notes are simple, flirty, and perfect for making a special someone smile. Their cards come in a wide variety of styles such as simple and sleek, or embellished and gold-foiled; the only problem is figuring out what you’re going to write inside.




The Candle Lab
751 N. High St

Taking dinner by candle light to the next level, Valentine’s Day at The Candle Lab definitely smells sweet. Couples enjoying High St can make two of their own candles with the Candle Labs huge array of scent options and premium glassware. With complimentary chocolates and libations, smiling couples will be treated to a Polaroid photo of their night for them to take home. However, if you’re sitting down to dinner in the district afterwards, the Candle Lab will deliver your candles and your photo tableside after they’ve done cooling, just in time for dessert. Photo: Bailey Lytle.

Le Chocoholique
601 N. High St

This Valentine’s Day, upgrade a sweetheart gift to something a little more decadant than the standard chocolate selection. With the most uniquely delicious candies in the city, Le Chocoholique is the destination for satisfying a chocolate lover’s sweet tooth. With their Nutella Bunnies, Coconut Dreams, Lemon Sorbet Bon-Bons, and OYO Whisky Pecan truffles, the only thing missing is the heart-shaped box (and they’ve got those too).

Gorgeous Flowers
Steven Cox Flowers, Rose Bredl Flower & Garden, The Paper Daisy Flower Boutique 

For fabulous flowers, the Short North has a lot to offer. With Steven Cox’s classic elegance, Rose Bredl’s garden chic, and Paper Daisy’s youthful whimsy, each shop adds their own unique aesthetic to their arrangements. This holiday, Steven Cox and Rose Bredl are both offering discounts on delivery, while the Paper Daisy is releasing a limited arrangement of succlents (for sweethearts).



Having the city’s most eclectic and well honed sense of taste, the Short North’s restaurant scene has a lot to offer. Here are some quick looks at what these favorite spots are doing for Valentine’s this year:

The Pearl Restaurant, Tavern & Oyster Bar
641 N. High St

The Pearl’s Valentine’s Day features seem perfectly suited for the occasion: a featured entree of scallops with pomegranate and the debut of a new cocktail, hitting high notes of cranberry and orange.

Marcella’s Ristorante, Pizzeria & Wine Bar
615 N. High St

Also debuting a new feature cocktail, La Faria, Marcella’s has combined strawberry, mint, rum, and OYO stone fruit to make a new treat with a kick.

Martini Modern Italian
445 N. High St

Martini has put together a pretty impressive prix fixe, especially for the price. Guests will start with a small plate or salad, then move onto a homemade pasta dish, and finish with an entree of either steak or a fresh fish. For the wine lover, there’s an option to include a wine pairing for each course.

Gallerie Bar & Bistro
401 N. High St

Gallerie in the Hilton Columbus Downtown has created an extremely intricate prix fixe suited for the foodie couple. The menu will feature foie gras with blackberry, poached oysters with caviar and grapefruit, filet mignon with lobster hash, and a study of chocolate to finish the night, each with paired wines and cocktails.

White Castle
965 N. High St

White Castle may seem out of place on this list, but it’s a one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day experience for sure. Rolling out the white tablecloths, red roses, and even champagne, make your reservations quick (yes, reservations) because seats go VERY quickly for this unique approach to the night.


Brothers Drake Meadery
26 E. 5th Ave

For drink connoisseurs and music lovers, Brothers Drake is your spot for the evening. Putting on their regular meadery tours at 2:00pm and 4:00pm, visitors get a tasting tour of the meadery, complete with a little history and a tutorial of how it’s made. Later in the evening, for their Valentine’s Extravaganza, Brothers Drake is hosting seven different local bands, with an ample enough dance floor to accommodate the crowd. Headliners include Turtle Island and Worn Flint. Cover is $5 at the door.

Union Night Club & Axis Nightclub
782 & 775 N. High St

These perennial nightlife spots are a guaranteed good time. With an atmosphere that’s never lacking, Union is a great home base for an evening on High Street, and when combined with Axis’ all-night dancing, consider your after-dinner entertainment planned. They’ve upped the ante for this Valentine’s weekend at Axis with national drag phenom Detox (RuPaul’s Drag Race, Season 5) hostessing Saturday night with Columbus sweetheart Nina West. The Thursday before, Union is also featuring their annual Single and Bitter party. While Nina hunts for Mr. and Ms. Bitter, enjoy the café’s famous Long Island Night and their raffle for the evening, benefitting ARC Ohio and AIDS Walk Ohio.

Short North Stage
1187 N. High St

For a more intimate approach to your evening, Valentine’s Day offers a perfect opportunity to check out the Short North Stage at the historic Garden Theater. This season the stage is featuring a one-woman tour de force I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers. Having received rave reviews in New York, the revival arrives in Columbus with veteran actress Deb Colvin-Tener. Chronicling the life of an aging Hollywood agent, the show lampoons famous stars and hits every funny bone you didn’t even know you had.

Danceville, U.S.A.
47 E. Lincoln St

For those who won’t have a special someone to dance with on the big night (and don’t need one!) Danceville, U.S.A. will be hosting an Anti-Valentine’s Day Party on Friday night from 7:00-9:00pm. While couples are allowed (though PDA is sternly frowned upon) the night is geared to some solo jamming to break up song choreography. Surrounded by drinks and hors d’oeuvres, the talented Danceville instructors will teach a group class followed by a little revelry afterwards. Bring your dancin’ shoes and your best moves for singles empowerment.




– Tyler Wilson