Going out on a blind date can be nerve-wracking, especially if you’re fresh out of a long-term relationship, recently divorced, widowed or new to town. What could ease the tension is making sure the matchmaking venue meets your collective tastes. Sometimes, hooking up at a place that’s full of such pleasantries as live entertainment, unique atmosphere, memorable location, rich history and celebrity trivia could stand as your opening remarks to relieve formality. Of LA’s many offerings, here are a few alluring bars that offer promising settings for what could result in a perfect blind date.
8447 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
If your blind date is a sports enthusiast like most Angelenos, this license-plate-festooned bar located in one of LA’s more colorful destinations is an encouraging place to meet someone for the first time, face-to-face. Even if you’re short on conversation, there are plenty of ice-breakers to fuel a lively chat. With more than 60 HD television screens, hundreds of beer selections and a food menu that boasts well over 700 items, Barney’s Beanery is an entertainment complex designed to create memorable moments. A community fixture since 1920, this festive watering hole has served as a home base for screenwriters, authors and musical legends, including the late Janis Joplin and The Doors. Happy hour is offered weekdays from 4 to 7 p.m., the best time to determine whether a second date is in order.
101 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Surrounded by lush grounds, spectacular ocean views and picturesque sunsets, this breezy Baja-style cottage setting takes guests back to the late 1940s with vintage appeal, relaxed charm and classic music. Even its cocktail menu is retro at this quaint bar by the beach. The venue is suitable for business meetings and for those who want to get together on a blind date because it accommodates five distinct places to mingle and converse in normal voice. This low-key lounge features a full bar and open-air deck, in addition to a private dining room that opens onto a secluded garden and old-school game room. Outside, visitors can relax on cozy couches and chairs while sipping their favorite beverage of choice while getting more acquainted within a charismatic and purposeful environment.
The Auld Dubliner
71 S. Pine Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90802
Designed to recreate a small village pub in rural Ireland, this venue is a quintessential meeting place for blind dates that are enthusiastic about dining on traditional dishes from one of Europe’s largest islands. Its food selections range from corned beef and cabbage to seared ahi tuna salad. Alcoholic beverages include Guinness on tap and Irish whiskeys. Even if you run out of things to talk about, live entertainment by local and touring Irish bands will help keep you and your date enthralled. Since its opening in 2004, The Auld Dubliner has served as a desirable social site to celebrate many special occasions throughout the year, particularly St. Patrick’s Day. A visit to this friendly locale represents a great way to kick off the weekend and, perhaps, a budding relationship.
Related: LA’s Best Bars For Foodies
The White Harte Pub
22456 Ventura Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
This upbeat venue located in the San Fernando Valley is so authentic, even the British frequent it. Here, you will join young guests toasting a 21st birthday to aging couples saluting a marital milestone. With exposed red brick, dark wood and antler chandeliers, this family-oriented establishment is a good choice for a blind-date setup, especially during the morning and afternoon hours when it’s not so loud. The pub’s breakfast menu ranges from cage-free eggs and applewood smoked bacon to nutritional breakfast wraps. Burgers, sandwiches and salads are available for lunch with full entrees set for dinner. Each evening promises a themed event, including movies on Monday, trivia on Tuesday, Wednesday night karaoke and live music on Saturday nights. This is a place you’ll want to re-visit.
Vino Wine & Tapas Room
18046 Ventura Blvd.
Encino, CA 91316
Those who frequent this romantic venue are connoisseurs of fine wines who prefer to socialize with others who possess small appetites. Guests also like to engage in quiet conversations while soft music plays in the background. If this type of arrangement sets the tone for you and your blind date, the best time to visit this wine and tapas bar is between the hours of 4 and 7 p.m., when the costs of its impressive wine choices are reduced to rock-bottom tabs. Its tapas menu includes such tasty dishes as Spanish meatballs, chicken croquettes and potato omelettes. Your date might be impressed that you’ve chosen a rendezvous that purchases its produce from local farmers and wineries to help boost the state’s economy. That, in itself, could put a feather in your cap and possibly lead to another date.
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Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.