ST. LOUIS ( -- Many restaurant owners in the St. Louis area were anticipating Valentine’s Day weekend to be one of their busiest weekends of the year. Last Thursday, St. Louis County restaurants were given the greenlight to up capacity from 25 to 50%.

Aaron Teitelbaum owns Herbie’s in Clayton and was looking forward to caring for more customers than usual. However, he said many are opting to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home. He said nearly 25% of their reservations either cancelled or didn’t show up on Saturday night.

“It’s amazing to me sometimes that the common courtesy isn’t there. Not only does it affect he business but it impacts our waiters that are expecting to make money from those tables,” Teitelbaum said.

At Ami’s Pizza in Rock Hill, manager Jacob Damti was also expecting more two-person tables and a higher customer volume. He believes the freezing temperatures are the reason many of his customers are spending Valentine’s Day at home this year.

“Yeah definitely different. I think more people are going to share the love inside there house this year, than getting to dine-in and have a server serve them,” Damti said.

However, Larry Watral and his girlfriend, Tammy Robins braved the cold to have lunch at Ami’s. The two had their first date at the restaurant 17 years ago and didn’t want to break tradition.

“It’s a ritual, that’s all I can say,” Watral said. “We called this morning to make sure we could get a seat, we got a reservation and when we got here there was no one else here.”

In South City, Steve’s Hot Dogs was closed Sunday due to freezing pipes. Owner Steve Ewing said the unexpected closure directly impacted his employees who were looking forward to a weekend with higher than normal sales.

“Financially it sets us back big time, because you expect sales on these big weekends. But more than anything it sucks for the employees they get their tips and wages and it sucks they don’t have their days on for work,” Ewing said.

Ewing said his business will reopen Monday. As our area braces for days worth of cold temperatures, owners are reminding the community to utilize curbside and carry-out options when possible.

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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