• Camille Renner

Your Guide to (a COVID-Friendly) Valentine's Weekend in Gaston County

During a year filled with uncertainty and (let's face it) overall weirdness, we are all celebrating whatever we can. Local establishments are committed to providing a festive Valentine's weekend for the people of Gaston County, following the pattern of resiliency they've displayed during the last 11 months.

Cherryville's The Rusty Wagon Wheel - Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

Businesses in Mount Holly are taking their typical better-together approach to create an exciting Galentine's experience and restaurants are offering prix fixe menus for diners. Local wine and beer shops are poised for patrons to grab their favorites to enjoy at home while bakeries and coffee shops from Cherryville and beyond have their cases lined with goodies for a love-filled weekend.

Here's our round-up of countywide Valentine's Day must — even if you're spending the holiday at home.

Celebrating at Home

Wine and Beer To-Go

Doffer's Canteen - Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

There are a variety of shops offering to-go wine and beer around the county. Valentine's day during a global pandemic should be spent relaxing, so take a bottle of your favorite red or go-to IPA from a local retailer home and enjoy it curled up on the couch with your partner.

Doffers Canteen

119 Center St., Cramerton

Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, Closed

Fryeday Coffee Roasters

106 E. 1st St. Unit B, Lowell

Friday 7 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-6p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Grape and Barley

1933 Hoffman Rd Ste. 4, Gastonia

Monday - Thursday, 12 p.m. - 9 p.m.; Friday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Sunday, Closed

The String Bean

106 N. Main St., Belmont

Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, Closed

DIY Charcuterie Board

Belmont Specialty Foods - Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

Gaston County has what you need to make your Valentine's Day Charcuterie Board dreams come true. So grab some meat, cheese, olives, jams and whatever else you want from these local markets and enjoy. Belmont's Specialty Foods is even offering a buy-2-get-1-free sale on everything in the store.

Belmont's Specialty Foods

35 N. Main St., Belmont

Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Organic Marketplace

1012 S. New Hope Rd., Gastonia

Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, Closed

Will's Doggin' It Deli and Market

1301 Spencer Mountain Rd., Gastonia

Friday 10:45 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 10:45 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, Closed

Sweet Treats

The Everyday Market - Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

It wouldn't be Valentine's Day without indulging in some sugary snacks, grab some locally made macaroons or cupcakes and eat as much as you want (we won't judge!)

AR Workshop (DIY Cookie Kit)

65 Glenway St., Belmont

Saturday, February 13th, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

The Everyday Market

7 S. Main St., Belmont

Friday, February 12 - Saturday, February 13, 8 a.m - 9 p.m.; Sunday, February 14, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Butter Me Up Bakery

200 E. Main St., Cherryville

Friday, February 12, 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Queen Bee Bakery

108 S. Main St., Mount Holly

Friday, February 12, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Saturday, February 13, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Events Around the County

Mount Holly Galentine's Day Party

Mount Hollywood Vintage - Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

Downtown Mount Holly

Saturday, February 13, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m.

On Saturday, February 13, local Mount Holly shops and restaurants will be hosting a downtown-wide Galentine's Day party offering special deals and discounts throughout a variety of businesses. Businesses participating in the Galentine's day festivities include The Catalyst Mercantile, Awaken Gallery, Accentuate Med Spa, and Mount Hollywood Vintage, among others.

The Summit Beer Shop - Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

The Summit Beer Shop will be offering $4 mimosas and 10% off bottles of wine all day Saturday. The Smash and Dash food truck will also be on site to satisfying your meal-time cravings with their signature pizza cones.

AR Workshop

AR Workshop exterior - Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

65 Glenway St., Belmont

Saturday, February 13th, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

This year, Belmont's AR workshop, a DIY boutique that offers crafting classes, is teaming up with local favorite The Flour Box Bakery for a cookie and crafts event. Along with supplies to decorate four cookies, participants have the choice of decorating aprons or wooden trays. You can register for this event here.

While the cookie and crafts event will be held in person, AR Workshop will also be offering a take-home cookie decorating kit with written instructions if you prefer to stay home for Valentine's day.

Station Belmont

Photo Courtesy of Apartment Therapy

4 N. Main St., Belmont

Saturday, February 13, 5 p.m.- 10 p.m.

Station Belmont is hosting "The Station Celebration of All Love" on Saturday. The celebration includes a three course meal for $30 per person. No reservation required.

Sprouts Cafe Oyster Roast

Chandler West, Gaston Outside

1012 S. New Hope Rd. Ste. B, Gastonia

Sunday, February 14th, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Sprouts Cafe is setting up a smoker in their parking lot of Valentine's day to celebrate the holiday with delicious oysters. Costing $1 each, the oysters can be served raw, smoked or steamed and may be enjoyed indoors or outdoors-the Sprouts team is putting a fire pit out on the lawn to keep everyone warm. There will also be deals on beer and wine to accompany the oyster special.

Weekend-Long Specials

Barrister's at The Esquire

Photo Courtesy of The Esquire Hotel

168 W Main Ave, Gastonia

Friday, February 12 - Saturday, February 13, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Feb. 14 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

A unique three-course a la carte menu is being offered Friday the 12th-Sunday the 14th at Barrister's, located in the historic Esquire Hotel. The menu has five offerings, including scallops served with pomegranates and carrots and a filet with mushrooms and mashed potatoes, with prices ranging $8-$36 per plate. Reservations can be made online through Resy.

The hotel is also offering some Valentine's Day packages if a staycation is calling your name. For $35, a dozen chocolate covered strawberries or assorted chocolates and a bottle of Prosecco will be waiting in your room. If you're more of a savory person, an assorted cheese, charcuterie and caviar plate and a bottle of Prosecco costs $45. Reservations can be made by phone at 980-888-1500, and be sure to request a Valentine's package.

The Bottle Tree

Chris Rodarte, Gaston Outside

102 Davis St., Belmont

Friday, February 12, 5 p.m.-10 p.m.

Saturday, February 13, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5p.m.-10 p.m.

Sunday, February 14 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

The Bottle Tree team, known for globally inspired fair, local ingredients and eclectic cocktails, is offering a 5-course tasting menu on Friday February 12th and Saturday February 13th, costing $150 a couple. A complimentary glass of Prosecco will be served with dessert and two specialty holiday cocktails will be offered all weekend. Reservations can be made online through Resy.

Crowders Mountain and Cavendish Brewery

Photo Courtesy of Cavendish Brewing Company

Crowders Mountain: 522 Park Office Ln., Gastonia

Daily, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. (changes seasonally)

Cavendish Brewery: 207 N. Chester St, Gastonia

Friday, February 12 - Saturday, February 13, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.Sunday, February 14 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

It's no secret that hiking Crowders Mountain is a staple Gaston County activity. If you're planning on a hike for Valentine's day, Cavendish Brewery is just a 15 minute drive from the state park and provides the perfect post-workout nourishment: beer and pizza. For Valentine's Weekend, Cavendish will be offering two drinks and a pizza for $25.

The brewery is also hosting a Valentine's Market on Saturday the 13th featuring local art and dessert vendors.

Gaston Pour House

Grant Baldwin, Gaston Outside

170 S. South St., Ste. 103B, Gastonia

Saturday, February 13 - Sunday, February 14, 6 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 7:30 p.m.

The Gastonia resident go-to, Gaston Pour House, is offering a three course Valentine's dinner for two days. Costing $85 per couple, guests will receive a glass of wine each, an appetizer and a main dish from their curated Valentine's Day menu, and "adult" Hot Cocoa will be offered for dessert. Reservations can be made through email at GPH@gastonpourhouse.com.

Old Stone Steakhouse

Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

23 S. Main St., Belmont

Friday, February 12, 5 p.m.-9 p.m.

Saturday, February 13, 4:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

Sunday, February 14, 4 p.m.-8 p.m.

While Old Stone Steakhouse is normally closed on Sundays, they have decided to open on February 14th to provide their community with a delicious Valentine's day deal. For $45 a person, Old Stone patrons can choose three courses from their special, curated menu and will receive a complimentary glass of champagne. Reservations can be made online or by phone at 704-825-9995.

Veronét Vineyards & Winery

Photo Courtesy of Veronét Vineyards and Winery

1549 Ike Brooks Dr., Kings Mountain

Saturday, February 13 - Sunday, February 14, 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Sitting in perfect view of the peak of Crowder's Mountain, Veronét Vineyards and Winery is one of Gaston County's most romantic destinations. Although the winery already boasts an impressive catalog of house-made wines, for Valentine's day weekend they will be serving a specially crafted sparkling pink wine cocktail. On Sunday the 14th, the vast outdoor space will be accompanied by live music, Lobster Dog's food truck and Macarons and Cake Pops from Charlotte's Delish Cakery. Reservations are required and can be made here.