Celebrating an anniversary? Taking your crush on a first date? Want to rekindle the spark? Funky eateries, cozy hideaways, outdoor adventures, the perfect night in—we’ve planned for every occasion. We’ll leave the hard part (finding that special someone) up to you.
The Blind Date
A neutral setting that allows you to assess whether or not there’s any chemistry, with options for prolonging the date if you’re feeling butterflies—or an easy out if you’re not.
The first rule of blind or online dating: Don’t start with a meal. The ironclad laws of attraction dictate that you’ll realize within minutes if this is someone you’d like to know, so why assume the time and expense of dining if there’s a risk of feeling stuck halfway through? The second rule: Choose a place where you feel comfortable, even if it’s not original. Save creativity for next time.
If it’s nighttime, you might begin at the Irish Snug on Colfax Avenue, where coziness invites an appropriate get-to-know-you vibe amidst a beer-happy crowd. Ordering an appetizer is fine, but you’re safer sticking to drinks. That way, if the fireworks are there, you can adjourn for something a bit more grand. Which is to say, if you’re still interested but now famished a drink or two later, you can walk a few blocks to Parallel Seventeen or D Bar Desserts (which, yes, has a reasonable nondessert menu as well).
On a day date, the same process applies. Start at Common Grounds in Highland for coffee, and if the rhythm’s right, roll a few doors down to Trattoria Stella for an unpretentious lunch (try the patio if it’s warm). If all goes well...Sayonara, Match.com.
Make it happen: Irish Snug, 1201 E. Colfax Ave., 303-839-1394, irishsnug.com; Parallel Seventeen, 1600 E. 17th Ave., 303-399-0988, parallelseventeen.com; D Bar Desserts, 1475 E. 17th Ave., 303-861-4710, dbardesserts.com; Common Grounds, 3484 W. 32nd Ave., 303-458-5248, commongroundscoffeehouse.com; Trattoria Stella, 3470 W. 32nd Ave., 303-458-1128, trattoriastella.squarespace.com
TIP: Blind dates are long shots by definition, and it’s easier to extend a date than it is to wriggle out of uncomfortable obligations. A one-stop agenda is all you should start with. Keeping It Simple, Stupid is the best way to get a K-I-S-S.
WORST DATE: "I met a girl in LoDo and we decided to go to dinner the following Saturday. She asked if we could take her car and I agreed. As we pulled out, she said, ‘Oh no, I’m almost out of gas...we’ll have to stop.’ At the station, she had another revelation: She forgot her purse. I paid for the gas and as we drove away, she got an emergency call from a friend and informed me that we’d have to postpone our date. I never heard from her again...I assume because she was stranded on the highway as far as one tank of gas could get her. Ouch!" —Slacker, radio personality, Alice 105.9