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Photograph: John Khuu

It's a date: West Loop

Written by
Grace Perry

Man, online dating can really suck. After swiping left until your thumbs are sore, sizing up whether your match is as cute as their photos imply, and a deluge of awkward conversation starters, finding love on an app can be disheartening (pun intended). So we took it upon ourselves to set two Chicago singles up on a completely blind date IRL in the West Loop. No profile size-ups, no Googling each other beforehand, no creeping for mutual Facebook friends. Just a good, old-fashioned blind date with Old Fashioneds. Let's see how it went.

Do you want to go on a free date? Email and we might set you up with a match!

The daters:

Emerson, 29

Production assistant, foodie, lover of Pokémon and board games; Humboldt Park

Steve, 27

Digital innovation manager, distance runner and Bloody Mary enthusiast; Andersonville

Photograph: John Khuu

The fun: Bad Axe Throwing


“It was great! We were both sociable, so it was nice but not necessary as an icebreaker. I’m trying to get a group of coworkers to go after work.”


“This was strange for a first date. It made things weirder because we weren’t really talking to each other, just ogling the hot instructor and throwing axes at a wall.”

Photograph: Courtesy Cold Storage

Drinks at Cold Storage:


“All the drinks were well balanced and tasty. Steve was running the marathon that Sunday, so he had to take it easy.”


“We both started with Manhattans; it was one of the few things we had in common. They were delicious, and my only regret is that I didn’t have several more. ”

Photograph: Courtesy Cold Storage

Dinner at Cold Storage:


“We talked about hobbies, where we grew up—I just tried to get to know him. I’m usually horrible at judging my chemistry with a guy.”


“Cold Storage as a date spot was nice, but I really hate circular booths because they give your date the opportunity to get too close to the point where you’re sitting side by side.”

The verdict:

Emerson ♥♥♥♥

“It was great. It was a little different, but I think it went well. The ending was awkward because I didn’t know where we stood or if we should exchange contact information.”

Steve ♥♥

“Emerson was very nice, but I don’t think there was much chemistry. I hate activities. My ideal fun date night is blacking out in the back of a movie theater. But maybe I’m the problem.”

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