Sometimes, the best dates are the traditionally fail-safe ones. There’s a reason why dinner and heading to the cinema are traditional evenings out. Another tried-and-tested date night that we think never gets old is going for drinks. Whether it’s happy hour cocktails or non-alcoholic craft beers, heading to date night bars is a great way to spend time with your new flame, scope out whether you are compatible, and find that spark.
Here is our guide to everything you need to know about date night bars. Below, you’ll discover what a bar date is, whether you should do drinks on the first date, and what you should wear to your first date at a bar.
What is a bar date?
If you and your recent Bumble connection haven’t yet visited some date night bars together, then you’re in for a treat.
This date night essentially sees you both grabbing drinks at a local venue, sitting down together, and getting familiar with each other. It’s a great way to get to know your current connection’s passion projects. You can also figure out if you both have anything in common.
The more you talk and the more time you spend together, the more you’ll learn about each other. There’s a reason everyone loves bar dates!
Why date night bars are fun first-date venues
Being nervous on your first date with a new Bumble connection is normal.
However, heading to a selection of date night bars is a great way to break the ice because, sometimes, people find that drinking relaxes them. Heading to a bar may be a good idea if you're worried about awkwardness.
Another reason why going for drinks on the first date is fantastic is because it can be cost-effective. Dating can get very expensive very fast. So, heading to local bars at off-peak times, or cashing in on 2-for-1 happy hours, means your first meeting will still be fun, just a lot more affordable.
What to do at a bar?
The best thing about a bar date is that they’re so versatile. All date night bars have different vibes. So if you’re stuck on what bar to pick and what to do, here are some solutions.
Romantic cocktail bars are great for trying and testing fun winter cocktails. These formal venues are great for getting dressed up and having one-on-one time with your new flame. However, romantic cocktail bars can be a bit pricey - so check beforehand if your budget can stretch.
Casual, cosy pub dates are great for informal meet-ups straight from the office. Pubs also often have pool tables, so if your conversation starts to stifle, you can always channel your energy into a little friendly competition!
If activities are what you’re after, then there are dedicated bars that feature the likes of bowling alleys and arcades. Date night bars that feature games are a great way to smooth the path to an ideal first date.
So, think about what kind of date you are both wanting. Do you want to engage in an intimate chat? Flex your competitive side? Or, splash some serious cash on a Saturday night? Whatever it is - choose your date night bars wisely!
- What to wear on a first date for drinks?
So you’ve picked a bar for a date and decided on a meeting time, but what should you wear?
The ideal first date at a bar outfit is essentially anything that makes you feel confident. So if you feel good, you’ll look good. However, you may want to make a good impression, so we suggest matching your outfit to the vibe.
Therefore, if you’re heading to a romantic cocktail bar, you might want to wear a midi dress and heels. A suit and a pair of smart shoes would work too. Just remember that cocktail bars can be pretty formal!
If a pub date is on the cards, your first date bar outfit should feature a sweater, a jean jacket and pants/a skirt. We’d recommend wearing flat shoes like sneakers instead of heeled boots too as pubs are usually casual and cosy.
If you’re having drinks on your first date at an activity bar, pick something loose and comfortable to wear. You’ll be moving so much you may even get a sweat on - so choose your outfit accordingly. Of course, flat shoes are a must, especially if you find yourself bowling a strike.
What should you drink?
Winter cocktail ideas
So you’ve finally got to your date night bar of choice, and all is going well. However, your date asks you what you want to drink. But what should you ask for?
If you drink alcohol, then why not try a selection of fun winter cocktails? A hot toddy, eggnog, and mulled cider are all alcoholic winter cocktail ideas you could select. Most date night bars that cater for an evening crowd will make these cocktails, as they’re super simple and feature a few ingredients.
DIY wine tasting
You could go one step further and theme your date night around your drinks. What about a DIY date night wine tasting? You could each order small samples of wine and taste-test them. You might have to invite us too though.
Mulled wine bar hop
Or could you set up a mulled wine date? You could bar hop, try a few mulled wines, and crown one venue as the winner! This theme could be a great way to break the ice on a first date and having a ‘goal’ to accomplish could make your date night drinks more exciting.
But if you’re not drinking on the first date or prefer sober dating, you can indulge in a romantic mocktail. Also, a few of the warm winter cocktails we’ve already mentioned can easily be made non-alcoholic. Just ask your bartender!
Going to date night bars is a great way to break the ice. Not only do you get to know each other better, but you can also have some serious fun! So next time your Bumble connection asks what you want to do, you already have the answer.