Abe’s Pagoda is Not Celebrating Valentine’s Day

Abe’s Pagoda is not celebrating Valentine’s Day. The local bar says they are deliberately not hosting a “lover’s night,” playing any romantic music or promoting a holiday they are very much not taking seriously. In fact, the bar is doing the exact opposite– it’s hosting an anti-Valentine’s Day event.

Every year on February 14th, the bar’s logic goes, there is a significant amount of pressure to find a date or be stay by yourself and contemplate being single. Call it counter-programming: the Wyckoff Avenue bar is encouraging like-minded discontents to take shelter at the Tiki-inspired bar and its self-described “adventurous cuisine.” (This takes the form of bar-food inspired American Chinese fare, like sticky gochujang wings and pulled pernil-filled steamed buns.)

“We saw on the calendar that Valentine’s Day is coming up and we were like, we have to do something,” one of the bar’s co-owners, Greg Curley, told us.

So, Curley is putting together an “anti-valentine’s day event” they’re calling Valentine’s at The Pagoda.

The event begins Monday at 5 pm and will go until 2 am in the morning. The red, low-lit-and-illuminated-by-a-disco-ball bar at Abe’s won’t have any props or decorations related to the holiday; Curley says that customers “shouldn’t expect any Valentine’s decorations or even a vibe that we’re celebrating the holiday.”

Instead, “they can expect to get our amazing frosè and fries for just $10,” said Curley. Abe’s will also be serving happy hour-priced drinks all night – that’s $5 beer & shot combos and $6 well drinks, among other deals.

In addition to promising a general attitude of disdain for the holiday, the bar also has programmed a slate of anti-Valentine’s Day movies, including George Mihalka’s 1981 slasher My Bloody Valentine and War of The Roses, a movie from the same year that dramatizes a bitter divorce splitting a formerly happy couple played by Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas.

Abe’s Pagoda Valentine’s Day
This local bar on Wyckoff Avenue is saying no to Valentine’s Day. (Images via Abe’s Pagoda)
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Valentine’s Day is a “holiday created by Hallmark greeting card companies,” Curley proclaims.

While the bar hopes that their event can be a local escape from the holiday, it’s official line doesn’t discourage couples from coming and spending money there too.

In a way, this is welcoming. Everyone can come to take part in an anti-celebration of a holiday that often has the impact of making some feel extremely alone. It’s a boycott of an entire idea by suggesting the day can be spent by opting to go out drinking, just like any other day. The message: people can still pay to have fun at a bar, even if they are otherwise dateless and lonely.

For Curley, this is a breath of fresh air.

“Valentine’s Day is for children. Bars are for adults,” he says. 

Abe’s Pagoda is located at 108 Wyckoff Avenue.

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Top photo taken by Andrew Karpan for Bushwick Daily.

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