In Love with Downtown


By Kristen Smith Young 

St. Valentine’s Day is upon us, but no matter what month it is, downtown needs your lovin’ and we know you want to show the love to these small businesses, too! Here’s a quick rundown of what to get your sweetheart, gal pal, or the kids in your life to show them that you care. 


Just because they’re delivered to the WFH office, doesn’t mean flowers won’t be just as lovely! Call Chapel Hill Florist at 919-929-2903 or University Florist at 919-929-2903 to ensure beautiful blooms appear on the doorstep this week. You can make orders online at both and the showroom at University Florist opens to walk-ins this week on Feb. 11. 


Just because you’re on Zoom, doesn’t mean you don’t still want to sparkle. Find earrings, necklaces and more at Creative Metalsmiths or Light Years. You can shop online at Light Years but if you still want to peruse in person, be sure to check out the Japanese metal arts exhibition at Creative Metalsmiths. 


Stumble down West Franklin and you’ll find a smorgasbord of delectable offerings but you can also bring the gourmet home to you. Lantern is offering both fondue (with Baked Alaska!) and ramen for Valentine’s weekend and The Carolina Inn Executive Chef Jeremy Blankenship has a fillet mignon and chilled lobster ready to pick up Saturday or Sunday. Mama’s Dip’s has a special with short ribs and red velvet cake—order Wed.-Sat for Sun. pickup. Opting for a dine-in experience? See what’s open downtown and check out the prix fixe menu at Tallula’s and tabletop heaters at 411 West


You do not need to go outside the downtown business district in order to find what you want to stock the fridge, cooler and/or liquor cabinet. Get curbside bottles, cans and growlers at Beer Study, Carolina Brewery, DB Sutton & Co. Wine Shop, Gizmo Brew Works and TOPO Distillery.

We all love a great made-at-home cocktail, but nothing is as good as one of our local favorites made by the mixologists who do it best! Check out Crook’s Corner or Chimney Indian Kitchen for fabulous to-go options.


Even if you don’t have a significant other, it’s still fun to get something sweet for your kids or your galentine. Epilogue has surprise or subscription boxes for any age and Uniquities has fun t-shirts, studs and bracelets and pretty face coverings to go over the medical mask if you’re opting to double mask. Wanting to have an experience with your young one or friend? The Carolina Inn has you covered with a Sweetheart Afternoon Tea, Firepit Fridays and Valentine’s Day Cookie Decorating To-Go.


Don’t care that it’s just down the street, but whatever you do you have to get out of your house? Our area hotels are taking all the precautions so that you can schedule a safe staycation at AC Hotel, The Graduate or The Carolina Inn

Even if you don’t believe in Cupid, we hope that you’ll show love to our small businesses which are rounding out one of the toughest years ever. Tell someone you love them and renew your love for downtown Chapel Hill this Valentine’s Day!