Severe weather, parking problems and a prime rib shortage made for a not-so-sweet Valentine's Day at Coomb's Tavern, said owner Teresa Marquette.
Since the restaurant is on the outskirts of York City, all the snow has nowhere to go, she said. Its parking garages and street spaces are either overwhelmed by mounds of snow or buried cars, she said.
"It's a mess right now," Marquette said. "It's a total mess."
The weather — the worst she's seen in 18 years of owning Coomb's — has even drowned out the restaurant's recognition, she said, as York City named it February's Merchant of the Month.
After closing during last Thursday's snowstorm, the eatery managed to open around 4 p.m. the next day, Valentine's Day, she said. The place was packed.
In addition to a lack of parking and a skeleton staff, Marquette said, Coomb's couldn't receive its regularly scheduled order, resulting in a shortage of its specialty: prime rib. Although Saturday went better, she said the restaurant just wasn't itself.
"We have to stay on the upside of it — we have to," Marquette said. "If you don't, you can get really crazy."
And with Restaurant Week — full of special meals, deals and events around York City — set for Saturday, she said she has lots to look forward to.
"We're stoked. We're hoping that some of this gets melted in the next few days," Marquette said.
Cleaning up: Victor's Italian Restaurant in Spring Garden Township also closed on Feb. 13. The restaurant has a small parking lot that staffers needed to dig out, said Zachary St. John, front of the house manager.
"Trying to move the snow has been a pain," he said.
But since Victor's is next to the township building, it received some neighborly help, St. John said. Right now, only one parking spot is blocked by a snow pile, he said.
Left Bank Restaurant & Bar patrons use on-street parking, parking garages and nearby lots, said Scot Kyle, front of the house manager. On Wednesday, the city was set to haul snow from North George Street — good news for the restaurant, which calls the street home.
"I think once that's done, that will certainly be a benefit," Kyle said.
And at White Rose Bar & Grill, which has a large lot across the street and lots of patrons who walk, parking hasn't really been an issue, said manager Alan Ching.
"We're very fortunate to be in the city," he said.
Valentine's victory: White Rose saw a small drop in business and also closed during the Thursday storm — which rarely happens, Ching said. But business bounced back.
"We had a great Valentine's Day weekend," he said. "Friday, Saturday, Sunday — all three days were busy." The Left Bank also had a successful holiday weekend, filling tables and accommodating patrons on waiting lists, Kyle said.
"Luckily, the way the storms fell over Valentine's Day, we lost nothing worth mentioning on Friday and Saturday," he said.
And Victor's was completely booked on Friday and Saturday, St. John said. People seem to want to get out, socialize and not be stuck inside, he said.
"We appreciate the patronage from all the people that beared the weather over the weekend, and we look forward to a good spring," he said.
— Reach Mollie Durkin at firstname.lastname@example.org.