I am just going to come out and say it: walk dates suck!
With the pandemic, they resemble some painful reenactment of the first date between Apollonia and Michael from the Godfather. Conversation feels forced and instead of a large Italian family following and judging you if you make physical contact, you have the ever present fear of public scrutiny that you might be within six feet. True story: I actually had a friend call me last summer, because a friend of a friend saw me on a walking date and thought we were too close together on the sidewalk.
Now imagine those same dates take place, as I like to call it, north of the wall, where for the last 5 months it’s been either too cold or too bleak to dare propose a first date on some wind cursed, icy sidewalk. And this is coming from a guy who loves winter! But when a walk is the only culturally acceptable point of first contact during Covid, many of us continue to brave it to break the monotony of constant swiping and the three sentence conversations that transpire for most matches online. So it goes without question that one of the most exciting aspects of restaurants reopening will be the prospect of a good old-fashioned drink at the bar.
As an extrovert who loves great conversation, I genuinely enjoy the art of the first date. The build up of getting ready, the pre-drink at home to cut the nerves, and the excitement of the unknown are all little thrills or rituals I miss. Even if you are an introvert who is painfully going through the dating process to find another long-term, couch-lounging Netflix partner, at least in restaurants there is food and booze! At the very least, if the date is forgettable the dining does not have to be.
“In the day and age of online dating, most of us didn’t realize how important it was for our mental health, nevermind our dating lives.”
As I have argued so far, restaurants have created beautiful spaces, not only to explore culinary traditions and cultivate social edicate, but they also provide warm, inviting, and safe spaces for strangers to meet. In the day and age of online dating, most of us didn’t realize how important it was for our mental health, nevermind our dating lives.
I am so excited at the prospect to be able to roll up to my favourite local spot, with a freshly ironed shirt, my nice jacket and dress shoes, which have been collecting dust, to meet a complete stranger, enjoy a delicious cocktail and appetizer, as we share our life stories for the first time together.
An expert in dining room economics and the guest experience, Frazer Nagy is an entrepreneur and the co-founder of Tablz, a Transparent Kitchen company, committed to a vision of changing the way the story of your dish is communicated and helping restaurants finally become profitable businesses.