LEWISTON — Despite the impending blizzard, love, dining and “Fifty Shades of Grey”-themed cocktails will go on.

Local restaurateurs said Friday that they planned to stay open for Valentine’s Day revelers on Saturday, even in the face of a snow-laden forecast.

The ingredients have been prepped, the staff’s been scheduled and the feeling was that most diners will still journey out in the elements.

“By this time, at this point in the winter, I think everybody’s probably feeling a little braver than they were earlier in the winter,” said Ileshea Stowe, director of operations at the new Rails restaurant, which has planned a “dinner and a movie” special with Flagship Cinemas.

On its “Fifty Shades of Grey”-themed menu for Valentine’s Day: “Red Room of Pain” cocktails (featuring tequila, vermouth and Campari) and an entree called “He Can’t Stay Away.”

“We’ve had a number of people call who were interested in reservations and we weren’t able to take them,” she said. “Perhaps even if some people don’t show up, that’ll open an opportunity for those people who are still looking for someplace to go.”


One in four Americans go out to eat on Valentine’s Day, according to the National Restaurant Association. That’s second only to Mother’s Day.

“We filled up three weeks ago and no one’s canceled,” said Eric Agren, owner of Fuel restaurant, who also planned to go ahead with his holiday menu. “I believe that we’re going to be busy; second, we have a ton of food. We’re doing a halibut dish this weekend and we brought in beautiful, fresh halibut. I’d rather use it fresh. I just think people are coming.” 

Roland Nadeau, owner of Rolandeau’s Restaurant in Auburn, was also fully booked for Valentine’s Day — “not a table left” — and no cancellations.

“The weather always affects it, but hopefully, it won’t be too heavy until later on,” Nadeau said. “It’s one of the biggest nights of the year for us.”

David Gagne at Mac’s Grill in Auburn said the restaurant was moving “full-steam ahead.”

Ditto for Paul Landry, owner of Fish Bones American Grill.


“You can’t mess with things of the heart,” Landry said. “Even Old Man Winter won’t win that battle.” 

He started his Valentine’s Day menu specials on Thursday night for diners who wanted to celebrate early. 

At Chick-A-Dee restaurant in Lewiston, owner Bill Hird Jr. said he suspected some diners would come in a night early to avoid the snow, but he’d keep normal hours for Saturday.

“I think it’s going to hurt us,” he said. “I might even run some more specials next weekend that I might have run this weekend.”

The snow wasn’t getting to other local businesses, either. 

Ella Magee of Ella’s Chocolates planned to dip some more fresh strawberries in chocolate in preparation for Saturday deliveries.


“I don’t know if I’d go out in an all-out blizzard, but I’m going ahead as planned,” she said.  

The Hilton Garden Inn in Auburn, running a Perfect Pair Dinner Package promotion for a meal, a room and chocolates, didn’t return a call Friday but had made a note on its Facebook page:

“I’d never let a snowstorm interfere with the incredible Valentine’s Day plans I haven’t made yet.”

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