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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Making Your Valentine's Day a Sweet Success

As long as a good bargain is appreciated, cynics and romantics alike will relish Valentine's Day.

In some ways more popular for its commercial potential than for tugging heartstrings, the holiday is mostly celebrated by special deals from clubs, hotels and restaurants.

Different eating establishments beckon lovebirds to "Celebrate romance with us!" by advertising special prices that might include champagne, chocolates or "treats for the ladies," while hotels offer late check-out on Feb. 15 or slice their fees in half for the holi-day.

Scandinavia (7 Maly Palashevsky Pereulok. Metro Pushkinskaya, Tverskaya. Tel. 200-4986, 299-2061.) is one of several restaurants that report full crowds for the last two or three years on "Dyen Svyatovo Valentina" (also called the Holiday of Love in Russian), the popularity of which is on the upswing around the globe.

The holiday is one of America's better imports, said Mats Oijvall, marketing director for Scandinavia, which is using the popular date to kick-start a three-day visit from celebrated Swedish chef Erik Lallerstedt. For $96, couples and singles get an eight-course meal and an opportunity to choose from an extensive wine list. "It's for people who really, really love food," Oijvall said. "The food is what's romantic."

Of course, generating revenues or saving rubles is far from the minds of many romantics.

"She really likes this holiday," Alex-an--der Kalashnikov said of his wife, Yele-na, whom he said he fell in love with 11 years ago. "It's about the rela-tion-ship between men and women and has nothing to do with politics or country."

An administrator at Le Meridien Country Club (Nakhabino, Moscow Country Club. Tel. 926-5911.), which for the night of Feb. 13 is reducing its price from $325 to $157, Kalashnikov said that he would go out with his wife, rather than work, on Valentine's Day evening.

Someone who considers himself a romantic, Kalashnikov has given his wife perfume for the last two years but will buy something more "serious" this year, he said. Any comparisons to March 8, International Women's Day, were out of the question — both sexes are honored on Feb. 14, he said. "It's a day of love. Love must be between two people or that's not love."

If you're not in the mood to prepare a romantic dinner for two at home, it won't be hard to find a place to celebrate. Many restaurants and hotels offer Valentine's Day deals that are sweet on the wallet.

The club and bar scene gets lovey-dovey on the 14th, as well. Art Garbage (5 Starosadsky Pereulok. Metro Kitai-Gorod. Tel. 928-8745.) offers prizes to the most erotic and romantic pairs, for the sexiest dance by a couple and for the longest kiss. Sixteen Tons (6 Presnensky Val Ulitsa. Metro Ulitsa 1905 Goda. Tel. 253-6440/0530/5300.) will be decorated in pink and red, while a DJ spins romantic French music.

At the Gorbunov Club, (27 Novozavodskaya Ulitsa. Metro Bagrationovs-kaya. Tel. 145-8305.) popular bands I.F.K., Dolphin, Kirpichi, Tequilajazzz, Green Grey, Naiv and others celebrate the holiday with a concert that begins at 7 p.m. Clubs Vermel (4/5 Raushskaya Naberezhnaya. Metro Novokuznetskaya. Tel. 959-3303.), U2 (54 Skhodnenskaya Ulitsa. Metro Skhodnenskaya. Tel. 493-3511.), Oracle (1 Sredny Ovchin-nikovsky Pereulok, Bldg. 13. Metro Tretyakovskaya. Tel. 953-0556.), and the Dom Center (24 Bolshoi Ovchinnikovsky Pereulok, Bldg. 4. Metro Novokuznetskaya. Tel. 953-7326.) also have Valentine's Day events, each of which is to include live music and competitions.

Drama queens and kings will have opportunity aplenty to watch someone else act out their feelings, as various theaters offer plays covering a range of emotions associated with the L-word: "Othello" runs at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Musical Thea-ter (17 Ulitsa Bolshaya Dmitrovka. Met-ro Chekhovskaya, Pushkinskaya. Tel. 229-8388.), "Hamlet" plays at the Novaya Opera (3 Karetny Ryad. Metro Mayakovskaya, Chekhovskaya. Tel. 200-0868.) and "Romeo and Juliet" plays at the Kremlin Palace (Borovitsky Gate Entrance. Metro Alexandrovsky Sad. Tel. 917-2336.).

And if it's simply beautiful music you're after, you can't go wrong with guitarist Alexander Frauchi's "Concert by Candlelight" at the Oval Hall of the Cherkassky and Vasilchikov Estate (46 Bolshaya Nikitskaya. Metro Barrikadnaya. Tel. 290-5180.) or the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra's performance of Tchaikovsky's Suite No. 3 for Orchestra and Scriabin's "Poem of Ecstasy."

"People appreciate any opportunity to celebrate," said Scandinavia's Oijvall.

"But I'm working [on Valentine's Day], unfortunately," he said. "Maybe afterward."