YONKERS, N.Y. – Men struck by Cupid’s arrow won’t be the only ones feeling the love in Yonkers this Valentine’s Day.
Florists are stuffing their vases and restaurants are making last minute preparations as they await the arrival of the most romantic holiday of the year.
Carl Weinberg, owner of Bed of Roses Florist on Central Park Avenue, said Thursday is likely to be “crazy” as a rush of procrastinators pick up flowers for their sweethearts.
“I don’t know why but a lot of guys wait until, more or less, the last minute,” he said.
Around the country, Valentine’s Day has become one of the biggest gift-giving holidays of the year, with the average man expected to spend more than $170 on candy, cards and other gifts, according to the National Retail Federation. In total, spending nationwide is expected to reach $18.6 billion this year, the NRF reports.
But many men don’t stop there. Valentine’s Day has also become the busiest day of the year for reservation-taking restaurants, according to OpenTable.com.
At Zuppa Restaurant & Lounge on Main Street in downtown Yonkers, co-owner Nando Paterra said his restaurant is ready and will be in the romantic mood. Tables will be decorated with rose petals, candles will be flickering and guests will cap off their meal with a complimentary Hershey bar wrapped with “Happy Valentine’s Day” foil.
The Italian eatery will also feature a completely new menu for Valentine’s Day that is geared toward the female palate, he said.
“We do something special every year to make it a bit more memorable,” Paterra said.
While reservations are quickly filling up at the most romantic destinations, a few seats still remain at places like Zuppa, Xaviar’s X20 on the Hudson, Dolphin Restaurant, Reno’s Trattoria and DeCostas Restaurant.
But they may not last long.
“Valentine's tends to be very busy,” a manager at DeCostas said Wednesday. “As of now we have room but I would make reservations soon.”