Updated: New Fish’s (Feb. 14!) Hot Outta Da Tank V-Day Guide

By at February 14, 2012 | 2:24 pm | Print

UPDATED (Feb. 14)— James of New Fish Aquarium Services , 1180 N. Milwaukee., recognized my need for creative expression, and allowed me to start blogging for the pipeline! And what a better occasion than today, aka Valentine’s Day than for a Red Velvet fish like myself to author her first official post?

Whether you’re single, newly in love, longtime coupled, have a style which leans toward cutesy, trashy, sexy, or classy, I’ve tried to “think outside the bowl” and select the best happenings on my radar for this Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. (Apologies in advance for excluding sushi dinner options.)

Gifts, etc.

Begin with a Valentine, a real one, like on paper, just don’t drop it into a fishbowl! Paper Doll, 2027 W. Division, features lots of one-of-a-kind cards, from sweet (turtles and unicorns) to ironic in tone and even sporting local and familiar images, like the Tamale Guy.

You can also present a book instead of a valentine, or tape a valentine to a book cover! I recommended the now vintage book, Open Marriage, circa 1973, which is just $6.50 and available at Rudy’s Roundup, 1410 N. Milwaukee. If anyone would like to do a “Where are they Now?” follow-up with Open Marriage’s co-authors, Nena and George O’Neill, I’d be VERY curious to see if the open marriage practice is working fabulously a few decades later. [Spoiler alert: They’ve both passed away.]

Flowers and chocolates and sweets are always nice. Cliche, yes, but I wouldn’t trust any woman that would roll her eyes at you for trying!  In addition to the mixed bouquet $14.99 deal over at Isabella Bridal and Flowers, 1547 N. Western, pictured, (Call 773-252-5252 to see if still available), Larkspur, 2123 N. Damen, is offering a two cupcake add-on, from Honeypie, for an extra $10. Read the finer details, like must-reserve orders by this Sunday, in Larkspur’s ‘Friendly Reminder’ email. Margie’s Candies at Armitage and Western (1960 N. Western) offers chocolates for EVERY budget. You can even score the ‘big Kahuna’ humongo heart if you are looking to make a splash with a lot of ladies at once!

Red Hen Bread has got some of the finest and best tasting cookies in town, as well as cute decorations in its window, so stop by and purchase a few cookies for your pals on your way home from the office today.

Baked. “Nothing says “I love you” like a beer cupcake – Guinness that is.  Head over to Bake and eat enough cupcakes to get a buzz on!

In going the gift route, you can’t go wrong with jewelry and accessories, as well as gift certificates. Here’s a few holiday-inspired ideas from riley boutique, 1659 N. Damen.  You can also find sparkly gifts at Tiara Love (“LIKE” Tiara’s FB page and win a FREE Stackable bracelet set, too!) and Bellaz Handbags, which offers $5 off your purchase of $20 or more only WHEN you mention “pipeline.” Also at Bellaz Handbags & Accessories: Receive a free box of chocolate with any purchase over $49.99!

Is your lovebird having problems with vision? Surprise her or him with a truly unique gift: a visit to Eye Want Eye Wear, 1439 N. Milwaukee, where ALL red and pink frames are 14% off during the month of February when you mention pipeline.

Toys, whether for yourself or to give to another, tend to be big hits around the 14th. Buck Lily and Wicker Tim have been shopping at Couple’s Corner (Division and Damen) and G boutique (Damen and Armitage) the past few weeks– check out Chapter 1 for a few ideas and visit those retailers for everything you need.

Looking for a truly unique gift that will last MUCH longer than one night? If you know that your sweetie would like to learn how to speak Spanish, and that they’re free on Monday nights from Monday, Feb. 27-through April, sign them up for an 8-week Beginner Spanish Speaking Class with Elena Chicago! The Pipeline has written about Elena in the past, and a little birdie I know is even a student in Elena’s Tuesday night class. Check out this video scene shot last week, with a surprise twist at the end.  Reach Elena here.

Headed out on the town tonight? (Feb. 14th):

Cafe Laguardia’s Medieval Dinner takes place on Tuesday the 14th and Wednesday the 15th, at 2111 W. Armitage, presumably so you can take your lady out on Tuesday, and the wench for a spin on Wednesday. Just kidding. Fishes have bad senses of humor. Anyhow, if you are planning to get dressed up in costume garb, bring your outfit to Hollywood Cleaners, 1438 N. Milwaukee, which is offering 20% off all Valentine’s costumes cleanings (or just dresses and coats)

There’s no cover, no “prix-fixe,” at Laguardia….. You can just order right off the menu and enjoy whatever company you’re in, and the live music of Rhythm City’s Motown classic.  Silverware is optional. Fun is a mandate.

Club Lucky Must be Fans of this Ween song? Also in Bucktown, enjoy Free Roses, complimentary for all ladies at Club Lucky, 1824 W. Wabansia, with all reservations made between now and 6PM on the 14th.  More info here.

People Lounge, 1560 N. Milwaukee Ave.  is offering a 4-course tapas meal– salmon marinated in citrus flavored vodka anyone?!- for $29 with food, and $59 for a bottle of fine Champagne in which to wash down your tapas. The special runs only through tonight!

Oompah! Taxim, 1558 N. Milwaukee Ave. which is normally closed on Tuesday nights, plans to stay open on its day off to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a special menu. Executive-chef owner David Schneider offers a $50 three-course prix-fixe meal with choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert from the regular menu. The regular a la carte menu will also be on offer. Make your reservation now.

Feel like impressing your date? Got a spare two hundo? Via Nandika Gervais’s Links column a few weeks back: “Before opening their much-anticipated Wicker Park restaurant The Trencherman, chef brothers Michael and Pat Sheerin will be debuting their cuisine with a pop-up weekend at the Logan Square Kitchen, Feb. 12 – 14. The five course tasting menu will include beer, wine and cocktail pairings and will run about $120, according to this article posted by the Chicagoist. Find tickets here.” Logan Square Kitchen, 2333 N. Milwaukee Ave.

On a tighter budget? We hear ya…  this fish ain’t going anywhere tonight due to this fact! Well, I’m also trapped in a tank, anyhoo, Falafel & Grill, 1317 N. Milwaukee, is  offering two very affordable meal options and only on the 14th. The vegetarian meal will consist of two combination platters of grape leaves, hummus, Jerusalem salad, and three pieces of falafel, plus baklava. It’s just $14.99 for two people!  The meat lovers version is just $18.99 per couple. Prices include a fountain beverage of your choice, too. This F&G menu may not be verified by ‘press time’; call 773-292-8888, or stop in to inquire. Mention ‘pipeline,’ too.

Staying in?

Prefer to stay home on Valentine’s Day and not parade your love all over the neighborhood? Sterling Goss Fine Meats & Purveyors, 1845 N. Oakley, is offering various meal assemblies, built for two. Eat at home in your slipper socks. With your roommate OR your Valentine. Stop in or call 773-342-7100 to reserve your gourmet pre-prepared meals for two, priced from $25-$35. (She’ll never know you never set fire to the stove to make these dishes)

Thinking about bubbly at home tonight? Until the end of the day, enjoy 10% off at the register at D&D Food & Liquors, at Damen and Division. It is the FINAL day to take advantage of D&D’s amazing deal, featured in the centerfold of the winter Celebrate! magazine. Thanks to D&D and all Celebrate! advertisers for making 30,000 copies of the magazine happen.


Join 50% of the adult population!  Here’s a few ideas:

Cans Bar Chicago @CansChicago: Happy Valentine’s Day! Free trivia is TONITE for all the love birds and Hallmark-haters! $3 Miller lites and half price app menu

“For almost every Valentine’s Day event, an anti-Valentine’s Day special or singles mixer follows.” In this spirit, Jerry’s near Division and Damen will be hosting an event from 5PM til close tonight. Learn More.

If you’re contemplating joining an online dating site, or feel like your current profile photo could use a makeover, Salon Blonde, 1643 W. North is putting together an evening of “Stylist Approved” style and photography sittings. You’ll get professionally applied makeup and photos to take home with you, and jpegs for easy posting.

Love your inner geek this holiday at the “I love you but I’ve chosen comics” sale at Challengers Comics & Conversation, 1845 N. Western. Looking for something to give the writers toiling away at the Pipeline? Pick up Sarah Becan’s Shuteye.  The graphic novel was made possible through Kickstarter, which is pretty damn cool! Now if I can only start a Kickstarter campaign to get myself out of this tank! Newsflash: I’m like $100 if you want me…

Painting is certainly therapeutic, and you’ll walk away with a Valentine’s Day 2012 memory keepsake: a painting of a cheery blossom. Do all this at Arts N Spirits, 1921 N. Damen  RSVP here for the 7PM seating.

Cookies from Red Hen

Chicago is one of the fattest cities in the nation, and Food is Love:  Decorating and subsequently consuming cookies is always a sure bet for having a sweet time, regardless of whether there’s a sweetie in your life. And for just $5 (while supplies last!), The Boundary, 1834 W Division,  is offering up six cookies, plus a make your own Candy Apple bar! No word on whether the apples will be included in the cookie costs, but it sounds like a good reason to eat an apple and if you aren’t the apple of anyone in particular’s eye, who cares. Grab some friends and go eat apples and develop sugar comas together. 4-6PM Family time; 6-11PM all welcome. Pictured are cookies from Red Hen; good luck making yours look this good!

POST-Holiday Events

Looking for an out of the neighborhood adventure? Dolce Casa Cafe and Provenance are teaming up for a Post-Valentine’s Day four course dinner with “off the charts” wine pairings from the Central Coasts, on Saturday the 18th. Learn more.

Are you already anticipating having a wild and crazy tale ripe for the telling by this Thursday, or a breakup yarn?  Well, your chance will come this Thursday the 16th. Held on the third Thursday of every month, Grown Folks Stories borrows from oral storytelling tradition and gives the brave five minutes or less to say what they need to say.  This month, Grown Folks Stories will also coincide with The Silver Room’s owner Eric’s birthday, too. Read more about Eric Williams here.

About the Author: Red Velvet Fairy Wrasse, scientifically known as Cirrhilabrus rubrisquamis, is a small, dainty fish, usually about 2.75″ in length, peaceful in disposition, though prone to jumping out of aquariums.  She likes working with beginners who’ve never owned fish before. If she were a date, she’d be low-maintenance, though you’d better take her somewhere with meat since she’s a carnivore! She thrives in saltwater tanks and is reef compatible. The front part of her body is red and the remainder yellow. Colors may vary on her mood, too.

She’s waiting to meet you– watch her swim here!–and is available for viewing and sale inside New Fish’s showroom, 1180 N. Milwaukee Ave, Mon-Fr: 11AM-7PM; Saturday 10AM-6PM, Sunday 11AM-5PM, p: 773-384-5420.

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