By Ryan Hill

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Plenty of Sacramentans were burning a hole in their pocket to celebrate their burning love for each other on Valentine’s Day, which led to a welcome boom in business for local restaurants.

“I just wanted to take my lady out. It’s been a long year, you know?” said James Shamburger, who was taking part in outdoor dining in Downtown Sacramento.

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The National Retail Federation said that this year’s total expected spending on Valentine’s Day is close to $6 billion less than it was last year.

Local restaurants like Brasserie Capitale are happy to make up for lost business during the pandemic. This Valentine’s Day weekend gave them a financial shot in the arm.

“The way it lands this week on a Sunday, it’s probably better for restaurants,” said Aziz Bellarbi-Sallah, the owner of Brasserie Capitale.

Bellarbi-Sallah told CBS13 that Brasserie Capitale and another restaurant he owns were all booked for Valentine’s Day.

“Kind of like the weather has been giving us a lot of reprieve. Having Valentine’s on a Sunday kind of spreads it out over a few days. Last night was busy,” Bellarbri-Sallah said on Sunday.

Bellarbi-Sallah said Brasserie Capitale is not typically open on Sundays, but he opened the doors for what’s normally one of their biggest dining holidays of the year.

They’re not the only ones feeling the lucrative love. In DOCO, Polanco Cantina’s general manager said they’ve been getting a boost from this weekend too.

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“We’ve been really blessed to have fully booked reservations,” Oscar Vazquez, general manager of Polanco Cantina, said. “It’s helping to employ the same employees and bring on new employees and make sure they’re getting a better paycheck.”

Vazquez said the impact wasn’t just felt on Sunday but the rest of the weekend as well.

“It started with Friday. Friday, we had reservations, fully booked reservations. Saturday, the same thing and now today, booked all day,” Vazquez said. “So, Valentine’s and the weather really, really helped us out a lot.”

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Seeing this many people out and spending their money was a shock for some.

“I’m actually really surprised that there’s a lot of people. But, it is a holiday weekend. So, I’m actually happy that they get to support local business,” said Alyssa Villanueva, who was in Downtown Sacramento.

Those eating meals and those dishing the meals out said they love that businesses are being supported during Cupid’s weekend.

“For us, we’re unbelievably grateful,” Bellarbi-Sallah said.

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“It’s a very big plus for us this week,” Vazquez said.