Show Local Love this Valentine’s Day


It’s that time again. Love is in the air in Rockaway. And with Valentine’s Day falling on a Friday this year, more may want to get into the spirit. And whether celebrating with your significant other, getting together with friends or showing yourself a little love, there is plenty to do to celebrate locally.

If chocolates, cards and flowers are too cliché, try a little something different this Valentine’s Day. Rockaway Brewing Company (415 Beach 72nd Street) is offering a unique way to celebrate the occasion. The theme is Love is Love and there will be plenty of love and good vibes at this dance party and drag show. The Rockaway Babes, featuring drag queens, Dreama Belle and Ginger Ladd, plus special guest, Jack Dahlia, will set the mood with love-filled performances that will inspire all to join them on the dance floor. And if you need more encouragement, the brewery will have all your favorite Rockaway Brewing Co. beers on tap. Plus Seany Slices will fill your heart and belly with his personal pizza pies for purchase. The fun starts at 8 p.m. and the party goes late into the night.

If you’re feeling the love after the party, why not get that heart pumping by running along the boardwalk and declaring your love for Rockaway at the Valentine’s Day Half-Marathon on Saturday, February 15? The run starts and ends on the Beach 116th boardwalk at 10 a.m., but day-of registration and number pick up starts as early as 8:30 a.m. at Rogers Pub. Following the run, all participants are welcome to return to Rogers for a Valentine’s Day brunch. Registration cost $60 per person or $100 per couple and can be done in advance online at All runners receive a t-shirt and a medal.

If you plan on running, you’re going to need some fuel, and whether it's sweets before you sweat or a carb-loaded meal, Rockaway has what you need.

At this point, pre-orders are closed for most of Rockaway’s sweet shops, but if you stop by any of them this Valentine’s Day, they may have some extra treats to pick up for your sweetie. Fat Cardinal Bakery (196 Beach 92nd Street) has come up with some festive concoctions like a bouquet of brownie pops, a chocolate heart cake for two, rose cupcakes and more. Rockaway Beach Bakery (87-10 Rockaway Beach Blvd.) is also preparing unique treats such as conversation heart cookies that say cute to funky messages, like “You stink,” plus a chocolate cheesecake, chocolate covered strawberries and even heart-shaped dog treats for the furry friend in your life.

Newcomer Georgina’s Bakery (165 Beach 116th Street) has the perfect dessert for any heart’s desire, but for the holiday, they’re also creating a variety of chocolate covered strawberries, including those covered with chocolate drizzle and pink and red sprinkles. And don’t forget about the original—Ciro’s Pastry Shop on Beach 129th for pastries and cookies galore.

If something colder is calling your heart, you can’t go wrong with your everyday ice cream but Mara’s Ice Cream Parlor (92-14 Rockaway Beach Blvd) is in love mode, and this week they’re serving up a Love Potion ice cream float featuring vanilla ice cream, raspberry syrup, 7-up, fresh whipped cream and topped with a chocolate heart.

What would Valentine’s Day be without a good meal? Luckily, the peninsula offers plenty of options. A few places are getting into the spirit. Cozy up by the fireplace at Bungalow Bar and enjoy dinner while Taylor Searing sings to your heart, starting at 6 p.m. Make a reservation by calling 718-945-2100. Jamesons on Beach 129th is making it a family night and they’re showing love to the ladies. Dine with them and women receive their first drink free. The Belle Harbor Steakhouse/Diner is serving up a special menu for the day, plus its regular menu. For reservations, call 718-318-5100. Besides those, consider making reservations for any local spot based on what you’re craving. La Sorrentina and Tiberio’s will fulfill your Italian cravings. Batesy’s or RBQ will baste your taste buds with barbecue.  Feeling Latin cuisine? Pico, Te Quiero and newcomer Brazmex can spice it up for you. For a laid-back atmosphere and classic grub, consider giving the Harbor Light some love, finding a reason to smile at Happy Jacks, fall in love with the skyline views at The Wharf or The BayHouse or splurge on a steak or pie at Whit’s End. No matter what you choose, your hearts, and bellies, will be full.

Before your date, consider treating yourself to a new date-night outfit by stopping at Lana’s Loft. As part of their winter sale, they’re offering up to 70% off clothing and accessories.

If you still need a special gift for your Valentine, the Gift is Love on Beach 116th Street is your one-stop shop for the holiday. From special cards to chocolates to stuffed animals, heart-printed goods, candles and more, Rockaway’s gift shop is the gift that keeps on giving. If you can’t find what you need there, head across the street to Rogoffs to find more cards, decorations and gifts for your Valentine. Want something a little more flashy? Stop by A&J Jewelry (236 Beach 116th Street) to pick up a new gold piece or diamond for the diamond in your life.

Whether for yourself or a loved one, give the gift of relaxation and beauty this Valentine’s Day. Strands Salon is offering some specials all month long including a free haircut with a keratin treatment, a $50 perm special for short hair, $20 off micro-blading, $50 off a Brazilian blowout and $5 for a hair foil. To receive any of these deals, check out the coupons on Page 9.

If you want a deeper beauty treatment, Nicole Frontera Beauty is your go-to. They offer a variety of wellness services and body treatments and for Valentine’s Day, they’re looking to give you the perfect pucker with 15% off of a lip blush. Call 718-945-1100 for your free consultation.

There’s no better time to treat yourself with a relaxing massage or facial, or to give it as a gift than Valentine’s Day. Spa Rockaway (112-20 Beach Channel Drive) is running a month-long special where you get 50% off a second treatment when you book any 60-minute treatment. Treat a spouse or friend, or use the deal for yourself and return at another time for your next treatment.

NurtureU Wellness (165 Beach 116th Street) is showing the love by offering $20.20 off any massage treatment through February 20. NurtureU also offers something unique to the peninsula—acupuncture. On acupuncture Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., they offer treatments on a sliding scale, starting at $25. Book your appointment by calling 718-634-9355.

No matter how you choose to celebrate, show your local businesses some love this Valentine’s Day and every day!

By Katie McFadden