Couples asked: Check their cells before being seated for Valentine's Day dinner - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Couples asked: Check their cells before being seated for Valentine's Day dinner

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Cleveland couple enjoying a Valentine's Day dinner at SB Eighty One restaurant Cleveland couple enjoying a Valentine's Day dinner at SB Eighty One restaurant
WESTLAKE, OH (WOIO) -

Nothing spoils a romantic moment like texting or checking your phone.

At dinner, it's often you, your significant other and the hundreds of contacts on your phone.

But at SB Eighty One restaurant in Westlake, they're offering a Valentine's Day promotion to enhance romance: 20% off the meal if you leave your cell phone at the door.

On Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, the Sminchak's from Bay Village enjoyed a romantic meal.  They said they didn't mind being disconnected from distractions.

"I thought it was a great idea," said John Sminchak. "20% off.  I'll do it in a second."

His wife Halle agreed. 

"We're not the most technologically savvy couple, so we're not on our phones all that frequently anyway," Halle Sminchak said with a smile.

But a lot of people are on their phones. 

In fact, SB Eighty One's owner, Paul Schell, said he started the promotion after watching a family of four at his restaurant one night.

"They didn't look at each other. They didn't make any sounds," Schell said. "They ate their dinner and they spent the whole time on the phone.  And every now and then there'd be a little interaction, but it was just like a grunt." 

"Everybody's doing it," said Janelle Olszko as she sat in the restaurant Friday night. "They're on Facebook or Twitter and all the other accounts and they're not paying attention to who they're with. It's like they don't care about them."

George Daher was sitting with Olszko and he embraced the intimate offer.

"I thought it made sense since the person I wanted to talk to was with me already," Daher said. "I didn't need my phone anymore. Great deal."

The promotion continues Saturday night.

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