As Alfred Lord Tennyson once said, “In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” And with the grass beginning to show, the sun appearing on our way to work and the scent of summertime in the air, every gender is feeling the springtime lift. And nothing goes better with spring than a fling. But where to find one?
On my blog, a reader commented that a bar is the last place a single should look. Yet flocks of fun-lovers throng local bars every weekend, mingling with the hopes of finding someone special. It must work some of the time, right?
For Mike Casagranda, bartender at the Aveue Bar (338 W. Fourth Ave.), “it depends on which bar you hang out in more than anything.”
Though he didn’t meet his girlfriend in a bar, he agrees that finding a date is possible. “I hooked up a couple of friends that met at bars,” he said.
Casagranda also noted,“There’s a lot to be said about alcohol and hooking up. For good or for bad.”
Clearly, when a date-seeking venue is a bar, alcohol plays a factor. But maybe it depends on whether your scene is a few beers at a low-key pub or a bevy of beverages at a flashy, brightly lit club.
At Platinum Jaxx (901 W. Sixth Ave.), for example, is it possible to find a date or just someone to dance with until 2 a.m.? One of the bar’s co-owners, Jess Hepper, answers yes to both.
“I have one couple who’ve been married in the bar. They originally met there,” he explained, then added, “Everybody in here has fallen in love for a night.” Sure, but one wonders whether love is really lust in disguise when alcohol is involved.
Then again, maybe love really can be found; maybe it’s is just around the corner of the bar.
Shawna McIntire, bartender at The The Anchor Pub and Club (712 W. Fourth Ave.) and a restaurant-industry veteran of 15 years, once found the idea of love in a bar preposterous.
“People always say you’re never going to meet someone in a bar,” she said, “but the last three boyfriends I’ve had I met in a bar.
“It just depends what bait you want to use.”
The odds of meaningful conversation in bars are low, though, especially at a place with live music and a bustling weekend scene. And while you might have the right bait, no one likes a meat market except for those actually shopping for dance-floor makeouts or one-night stands.
But, the number of candidates is higher at places packed to the gills, which means better odds of finding a gem or at least a diamond in the rough. And sometimes a drink or two can ease nerves and aid conversation when you’re approaching someone on the next stool.
And there are always those who overcome the odds, like Jana Goff and Chad Luna — a real-life love story that began in a bar.
“I actually met my fiance at Reilly’s,” Goff gushed. “(Chad) was my bartender, and I was his waitress.”
I asked Goff if she would have said a bar was a good place to meet a date.
“No,” she said, “I would’ve said the exact opposite.” And yet, “we’re getting married in April.”
It could be bar-enhanced love; it could just be her fiance’s particular type of bait. Still, it seems romance can be found at local watering holes. If you like a laid-back bar or a hopping club, chances are you might meet and click with someone who feels the same way. If you don’t like going out, head to a bookstore or local gym.
You never know. There just might be a fanciful spring love in your future.
And that calls for a cocktail.
-- by Jessica Bowman