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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • First Fridays Feb. 1 features food, Valentine's Day ideas, new book from local author

  • First Fridays in February is nearly here, and the event will certainly put a smile on your face this Friday evening in Smyrna.
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  • First Fridays in February is nearly here, and the event will certainly put a smile on your face this Friday evening in Smyrna.
    The lowdown
    First Fridays is an event held downtown on the first Friday of the month that invites the public to meet and greet with owners of downtown businesses from 6 to 8 p.m. The Smyrna Downtown Renaissance Association revived the event in December, the first time since it was first launched around 2010. Each month a select number of participating businesses in First Fridays will serve refreshments (such as wine and cheese) in their shops for the nifty occasion. In addition, some businesses may feature sweet specials and deals.
    Participating businesses in February's First Fridays includes the Odd Fellows Café, Sheridan's Irish Pub, The French Hen, Bailee 21 and Heart of Smyrna.
    Prime rib featured at café
    The Odd Fellows Café (located on 34 South Main St.), known for serving American favorites like crab cakes and chicken and dumplings, will offer their Friday mainstay on First Fridays: slow-cooked beef prime rib. This farm fresh meat is locally purchased at TA Farms in Wyoming, and the beef is slowly roasted for five hours, said chef John Reilly. Tender loving care is written all over these savory ribs.
    The Café will stay open until 9 p.m. on Friday.
    A 'Heart' for Valentine's Day
    Heart of Smyrna (located on 1 West Commerce St.) is a gift-for-home shop featuring home décor items as well as costume jewelry, women's shoes and accessories.
    Looking for a Valentine's Day gift to get your sweetie? Look no further. Stain glass hearts will be for sale at Heart of Smyrna, designed by Larry Ford, owner of Masters Art Glass Studio on E. Commerce Street. On Friday, Ford will be doing free engravings on the hearts, said Heart of Smyrna owner Vickie Bartsch. The stain glass hearts will be available in multiple colors such as pink and red. Single-heart designs will cost $10 to $12 and double-shaped hearts will cost $18, Bartsch said.
    Not to mention, Smyrna author Samantha Mozart will be signing copies of her new nonfiction book titled "Begins the Night Music: A Dementia Caregiver's Journal (Volume 1)."
    "We're really excited" Bartsch said of the upcoming First Friday's event. "This will be the third time we participate in it, and it's gotten bigger and better each time."
    Heart of Smyrna will close at 8 p.m. on Friday.
    Mother 'Hen' of Smyrna
    The French Hen (located at 20 E. Commerce St.) features new and vintage furniture, as well as unique and charming accessories for the home. Whether you're a longtime homeowner, or a just got a new place, you can always find something at The French Hen that I'll inject some extra style into your humble abode.
    Page 2 of 2 - The French Hen will stay open until 8 p.m. on Friday.
    Taste of Ireland and America
    The only other participating dining venue in February's First Fridays is Sheridan's Irish Pub. The restaurant is popular for offering a mix of traditional Irish and American cuisine like shepherd's pie and fish and chips to burgers and wings.
    Each Friday Sheridan's features its chef special, and this week is not different. While this Friday's special hasn't been finalized, guests can certainly expect to taste something that's unique and "outside of the box," beamed owner Joe Sheridan. For instance, last week the Pub offered a southwestern chicken spring roll wrapped in pastry.
    As for desert, an Irish car bomb cake will be available, Sheridan said.
    Acoustic duo Benny & Hill will provide the night's soundtrack from 8 to 1 a.m. Sheridan's will close at 1 a.m.
    Bailee 21
    Bailee 21 Consignment Boutique (located on 16 S. Main St.) will offer refreshments during the event. The Consignment Boutique specializes in brand name clothing for women and children, along with shoes, handbags and jewelry.
    Bailee 21 will stay open until 8 p.m. on Friday.

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