After a year and a half of being locked up in quarantine and not being able to go on actual dates, there is now hope as more people are becoming vaccinated and things are turning (somewhat) back to normal: including IRL dating. Yep, that’s right — no more hiding behind a phone screen and inevitably ghosting that random person online you were flirtatiously talking to for a few weeks because in reality, you didn’t really see it going anywhere. And the dating app Bumble is using this to their advantage. Bumble is opening up its own restaurant on July 24 in New York City to encourage in-person dating again — but would people, especially college students, actually go to a Bumble restaurant?
The new restaurant, Bumble Brew, will include a breakfast café as well as a wine bar for lunch and dinner. There will also be a public 80-seat dining room and a private dining room as well as a patio area and cocktail bar. The restaurant, in collaboration with Delicious Hospitality Group, is focused on providing customers with a dating-friendly experience amid a sunny yellow ambiance (which is very on-brand with Bumble’s bee-themed color scheme) and good eats. The restaurant will first open in July solely for breakfast, and then for lunch on July 30 and dinner on August 7. Bumble had actually planned on the restaurant debuting in 2019, but the pandemic set everything back.
And the pandemic has set everything back for a lot of people — and especially single people who now had limited options to meet new people due to COVID-19. Although people were still making connections online, with Bumble reporting that video calls increased by 70%, how intimate and deep could these relationships really go? It can already be difficult to foster long lasting and meaningful romantic relationships in general, let alone primarily virtually. With this in mind, are people really ready to go back into the dating sphere — at a dating app-inspired restaurant, nonetheless — after such a long time of not putting themselves out there?
Quinn, 18, says that she may check out the restaurant sometime with friends, but definitely not alone. “[It] seems like it could end up being a place where creepy guys hang out,” Quinn tells Her Campus. “But it [also] looks like a much more effective way to meet guys.” Similar to being on a dating app, going to Bumble Brew may also be like flipping a coin: you never know if you’re going to get some creepy person or a catfish sliding into your DMs, or if you’ll luck out and meet your soulmate.
On the other hand, some people are more unsure about Bumble Brew and its objectives. “I’m honestly confused by the concept,” Flora, 26, tells Her Campus. “I’d rather meet someone out at a bar or coffee shop than go sit at a Bumble affiliated place hoping to meet someone. [It] just seems weird to me, but maybe I’m missing the point.”
However, despite Bumble Brew’s potential pitfalls, some people are more willing to check out the new restaurant than others. Gaby, 21, tells Her Campus, “Although I’m in a committed relationship, if I was single I would definitely be interested in checking out this bar. It’s a great idea because you know for a fact that anyone who’s in there is most likely [interested] in dating (in some form or another). You’re most likely filtering out people who are not single… We’ll see what actually happens with this place but I have pretty high hopes for it and think it could definitely be a success so long as the food and drinks are good.”
So, is Bumble Brew a genius idea, or a disaster just waiting to happen? In my opinion, I think it will be a success. Whether people want to find a new romantic partner, meet with work colleagues, or just hang out in the bustling and fun city of New York, I think Bumble Brew will fit the bill. And after over a year of being stuck inside, I think people are buzzing (haha, get it?) to get back out there.