February 08, 2016
The Short North Arts District definitely has love in the air. The galleries showcase an unparalleled passion for the arts, chefs create dishes that light up the imagination, and the sidewalks are abuzz with people out and about. This Valentine’s Day, whether you’re looking for the best of the best, or trying to shake things up, the Short North Arts District is once again the place to be.
When there’s a big night ahead, some thoughtful preparation can make the evening all the more special. Whether it’s a little extra time primping or a fresh new look, get out feeling your best with the help of these Short North Arts District beauty boutiques and ateliers.
The Short North Arts District’s premier stop for stationery and correspondence, On Paper is a favorite for Valentine’s Day. From cards and letters to gift boxes, art prints, candles, and fragrances, On Paper is everyone’s best bet for a memorable moment at the letter box.
This Valentine’s, The Waxxpot is putting on a big raffle for some of their favorite customers. For every waxing service series purchased, guests are entered into their raffle contest. Winners are announced February 13, and get treated to a bunch of goodies. Inside their gift basket is a bottle of French champagne, two champagne flutes, a box of gourmet chocolates by Pure Imagination Chocolatier, a jar of Tahitian vanilla bath scrub, and a $25 gift card for to the store.
Reverse Vanity Salon
To get you ready, Reverse Vanity is running a couple different packages for those who want to go all out. For $95, they are offering a spray tan and custom makeup tutorial, and for $135, you can get a one-hour deep relaxation massage and a purifying facial.
MAX The Salon
MAX will be offering two different spa packages in preparation for Valentine’s. For $110, you can grab their Grand Spa service (cut and color, manicure, facial) at 20% off, or grab two packages for $145 at 25% off.
Camelot Cellars will host a Mini-Spa Night on February 11, to get you ready for the big day. From 6:00 – 9:00pm guests can enjoy manicures, massages, facial treatments, makeup tutorials, and of course, wine.
Jeff Stuckey at Salon Lofts
One of the best known coiffeurs in the city, Jeff Stuckey is hoping to entice some lovers into his boutique this year with an offer of his limited edition lip glosses at half-off.
Jacob Neal Salon
At Jacob Neal, all hair services will be 20% off.
A fair trade shop with an eye for style, Global Gifts will be featuring a wide selection of internationally sourced, hand made home goods and jewelry, all with an nod to the heart. Be sure to see their wakami kiss collection, an impressive example of traditional Japanese beadwork.
Short North Piece of Cake
Should your Valentine’s Day be an at-home affair with your special someone, let someone else do the work so you can just enjoy your night. Short North Piece of Cake, the District’s premier cake shop, is putting out some special sweets for the season. Chocolate covered strawberries, truffle hearts, and velvety cupcakes start filling up the display cases Friday the 12th, giving you just enough time to get the rose petal heart on the bed *just* right.
THE CLASSIC EVENING
The classic night out is one that’s about escaping the day-to-day. Here are some choice spots in the District for the best of everything.
Hubbard Grille is a place that takes American classics and turns them on their head, and it’s amazing at it. Featuring some of their crowd favorites, including their crispy brussels sprouts, Steak au Poivre, and fresh cobbler, this year Hubbard is featuring a for-two prix fixe menu that’s looks to be extremely tasty.
Gallerie Bar & Bistro
Invited as a guest chef to New York’s James Beard house in September, Gallerie’s Bill Glover is a well-respected chef nationally, as well as in Columbus. This year, treat your sweetie to something truly exceptional, featuring local ingredients and French inspiration, set in a fabulous setting, at Gallerie. This Valentine’s Gallerie is putting together a special aphrodisiac prix-fixe menu, complete with wine pairings.
Crisp white tablecloths, impeccable service, and a menu that nails the classics, Hyde Park is the city’s premier steak house. This year, they’re highlighting their prix-fixe menu, offering all their favorites in smaller portions, which is perfect for leaving room for dessert.
If you love oysters, The Pearl is where to take your sweetie on Valentine’s weekend. We know is that they’re delicious, and the culinary team at The Pearl definitely knows how to work with them. Featuring a large selection that rotates seasonally, the Pearl’s raw bar is a dream for foodies. Lively but not raucous, crowded but not uncomfortable, the ambiance is perfect for a sexy, stylish night out.
Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph Hotel
Columbus’ new premier hotel, Le Meridien, is giving lovers a big hand in planning a special night. A boutique hotel that prides itself on its thoughtful service and impeccable design, the hotel is offering a special Valentine’s weekend package that is hard to pass up. The package includes the entire weekend’s stay and a complimentary $50 credit for their spa services. Fresh roses are delivered every day, and a bottle of champagne in a silver ice bucket and fresh strawberries will be there to greet you on your first night.
Hilton Columbus Downtown
The Hilton Columbus Downtown is featuring their Love Package this year, with a weekend stay that’s sure to blow you away. Upon checking in, guests will be treated with complimentary champagne for the room and a sample tray of all natural, aroma-therapeutic massage oils. Dinner reservations are automatically assured at Gallerie for the evening, treating lovers to a night of aphrodisiacs prepared by internationally known head chef, Bill Glover.
THE DATE WITH A TWIST
Stepping outside of the box is a good thing. For an unconventional date that packs all the romance and is a bit lower key, check out these Short North spots.
The Candle Lab
A local, boutique candle shop, The Candle Lab will be hosting The Perfect Pairing on February 13 and 14, which includes two candles, two glasses of sparkling wine, chocolate, and a polaroid. The Candle Lab has a huge variety of scents that you and your S.O. can sift through and craft into your own candle, while enjoying your bubbly. Taking about an hour to set and cool, the Lab also will deliver it to you by hand if you happen to be grabbing dinner in the District.
One of the best-loved gems in the Short North, Kingmakers is a board game bar that doesn’t skimp on selection, or atmosphere. Local beers on draft, mismatched dining chairs surrounding big, family tables, the bar’s whole vibe is ‘relax, play some games, and hang with your friends’. Perfect for a casual, yet unique night out, Kingmakers is perfect for a low-key, double date on Valentine’s Day. Grab dinner nearby at just a minute walk from Fabian’s, Bakersfield, Forno, and The Happy Greek.
Red Giraffe Designs
Red Giraffe, a custom jewelry maker and accessories design studio, is doing something pretty cool for you and your sweetie this year. To make a memorable night even more so, head to their boutique to get any item of jewelry stamped to mark the occasion.
Specializing in modern takes on traditional Asian cuisine, Tai Tiki is a great spot to check out if you feel like shaking things up a bit. Great sushi, fun Polynesian plates for two, and a giant, smoking Mai Tai? Yes, please. For Valentine’s Day, they’re rolling out a three-course prix-fixe, hitting all of their restaurant favorites.
ZenCha Tea Salon
Releasing a special blend of tea just for the time of year, stop in at ZenCha to try some warm brews for Valentine’s. ZenCha’s ‘Sweet Romance’ is a special blend of rose, lavender, and chamomile, designed to relax the mind and invigorate the body.
Not a date, but for gifts with a little extra something goin’ on, Glean is the best place to go. This year, Glean has hearts on the mind. Literally.
Handmade with rose clay and essential oils, their anatomically correct heart soaps are sure to leave a lasting impression. Best part – they’re only a buck!
THE TREAT YO’ SELF NIGHT
This holiday is all about showing the love. Whether it’s a treat for you or someone you love, these spots will make your Valentine’s Day special.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Is there anything more quintessentially Columbus than a hefty serving of Jeni’s? Jack Hanna and Brutus the Buckeye skipping past the butter cow at the Ohio State Fair? Close. This Valentine’s, treat yourself to the city’s number one gal and her amazing treats. The ‘Make You Blush’ sundae is black-and-white cookie ice cream based, with strawberry sauce, honey whipped cream, and fresh cherries piled sky high.
Happy Go Lucky Home
At Happy Go Lucky Home, home goods will be 70% off and women’s apparel will be 40-75% off.
Artisan De Luxe
An haute leather-goods and street wear boutique with a nod to classic Americana, Artisan De Luxe is celebrating the season with a special 40% off women’s jeans.
The week leading up to Valentine’s Day, American Apparel will be offering 25% off all men’s and women’s intimates (February 7 -14).
Helping guys stay fresh across the Midwest, Righno, specializing in both men’s apparel and skincare, is offering 30% off their entire store.
Nothing can beat the tradition of giving (or getting) chocolate for Valentine’s Day. Since middle school, the hallowed tradition of receiving a heart shaped box on the 14th can hearken sweet memories, no matter who got them for you. At Le Chocoholique, this tradition gets an upgrade with flavors like limoncello and decadent white chocolate. Head there with friends or your sweetie for a dark cocoa martini, or grab a few treats to take home.
Known across the entire city as the vintage shop with endless aisles, Flower Child is putting on a Valentine’s sale perfect for a quirky date. Featuring their best lines of jewelry and lingerie at a 20% off, it’s the best place to find unique pieces that leave you feeling fancy free.
Union’s Valentine’s weekend is a Columbus tradition, and it’s understandable. The Single and Bitter Party is the best in drag performance, paired with cocktails, go-go cupids, and the crowning of Mr. and Ms. Bitter, followed by charity raffles benefiting ARC Ohio. It’s loud, it’s lively, it’s filled with cynicism – all in all, the best.
Danceville U.S.A. is having their annual anti-Valentine’s party at their studio on Lincoln Street. This year, after recommending a break from Netflix and chilling, Danceville is planning a big night, featuring the best in break up songs, a killer spread of hors d’oeuvres, and plenty of drinks. While the theme is geared towards getting over that break-up in style, it’s also a great space to craft some cozy new acquaintances.
Skully’s Music Diner
For more of a dance fueled evening, Skully’s is your best bet for the occasion. This year, the theme is the darker side of the masquerade ball, think Labyrinth over Marie Antoinette. Featuring goth and industrial house music, the club is strongly encouraging guests go all out with their masks (though plain black ones will be provided) making the night all about disappearing into the music and into the scene. A fog filled, red light dance hall pumping with Berlin inspired techno, Skully’s is here when you’re ready to dip your toes into something a little wilder.
– Tyler Wilson