Restaurants prepping for possible Valentine's Day, Ash Wednesday customer influx

Establishments stocking up on fish for Lent

By Marilyn Moritz - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday haven’t fallen on the same day for 73 years, but this year may pose a dilemma for Christians who observe the holy day. So, local restaurants that expect plenty of business are preparing for the lovers and Lent observers a day before.

River City Seafood and Grill owner Charlie Coleman said Ash Wednesday always brings in the diners, and with Valentine’s Day falling on the same day, Wednesday will be even sweeter.

“When you put the two together, Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day, it should be a very good day,” Coleman said.

Valentine’s Day may be named after a saint, but this clash on the calendar poses a problem for many Christians who abstain from eating meat during Lent.

Seafood restaurants, such as Coleman’s, are ready for the expected influx of customers.

“We had to pretty much double up on our purchasing,” Coleman said.

At Barn Door, surf and turf is on the menu, but this Valentine’s Day, the restaurant may be serving up more surf.

“We got some great lobster tail in for those who are cutting out the beef for a while,” said Trisha Walsh, with Barn Door.

In addition to the rib-eye steaks and chateaubriand for two, when restaurant owners realized Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday would collide, “we decided, of course, we've got to add the seafood, which we always had, but it became a bigger part of our Valentine's,” Walsh said.

The restaurants said they’ll have plenty of fish for the 40 days of Lent leading up to Easter, which falls on April Fool's Day.

The next time Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday share the same day will be in six years.

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