Consider yourself warned: this post is for the romantics out there, who not only don’t mind celebrating Valentine’s Day, but unapologetically enjoy it; who are willing to scoff at the scorn from their too-cool-for-school friends, and celebrate romance with wild abandon.
As for me, I stand solidly on the side of love, even if the whole Valentine’s Day thing is a racket for the candy, card and flowers industries. But really—who has ever been harmed by the exchange of syrupy prose, chocolates and roses? And even if that’s not how you roll, how difficult is it to steal away to a romantic bar for a love-themed cocktail or two?
Do you see where I’m going with this? Wouldn’t you rather have a handcrafted cocktail than a stuffed gorilla that says, “I love you” when you squeeze his foot? And so, for your imbibing pleasure, as well as for your convenience, I’ve compiled my list of Bellingham’s most romantic bars. Now you’ll know exactly where to treat your bestie to a bevvy—and get mad, starry-eyed props in return!
Hands down, Temple Bar tops the list. I mean, I wrote a love letter to this place not long ago—that’s how much it inspires the syrupy prose in me. Few are immune to the Temple’s charms, from crystal chandeliers that barely light the place to the red Victorian-style flocked wallpaper and heavy velvet curtains.
To impress your date, try to grab one of the perfectly romantic window tables for two. Or if you really want to swoon, take a seat at the bar so you can watch bar tending wizardry unfold before you, when house-infused liquors, fresh juices, house bitters and syrups—and yes, love—combine to craft some of the best cocktails you’ll find this side of gay Paris. I can’t wait to see what the mixologists come up with for Valentine’s Day.
The Temple Bar, 306 W. Champion St. Bellingham, WA Open at 3:00 p.m. on Valentine’s Day and every day
What is it about the Redlight? For starters, any place that calls itself “your favorite sparkle bar” wins in my book. Plus, it’s just cozy. Whether you’re in a semi-raucous group of 10 or a snuggly Valentine’s duet, you’ll feel quite at home. Perhaps it’s the bricks, the local art and the comfy chairs that suck you in like a sponge, but the Redlight’s creative libations and homemade snacks will keep you there, happily occupied while you count the ways you love thee, whomever thee may be. Combine all that with homegrown music a few nights a week, and you’ll agree that, like your Valentine, Redlight just has a way about it.
Redlight, 1017 N. State St. Bellingham WA Open at 4:00 p.m. on Valentine’s Day and every day