Not all dates work out, but a good romantic bar sure helps change the odds
With your Tinder mailbox overflowing (or mine, anyway) and Valentine’s Day window displays violently flooding the city, I’d say it’s about time some light is shed on where to take your promising dates and yield the best results, all year round.
Don’t get me wrong here. I love brunches just like the next person, but oh of course there are horrible dates. You know, those you wish you could get a full time-refund for and really just stay at home and count the hair on your carpet instead.
I mean, where do I even start? There’s the one when I thought a fair might be so perfect for a first date. The carefree, romantic spirit of it all lasted exactly one ride, after which I got sick and threw up, in a pirate ship, full of people. … Or a fairly recent dinner date when the guy stared at the bill on the table for so long that I went ahead and picked it up myself. … He said it made him feel so pampered. I deleted his number as the waiter was processing the payment and made seven new Tinder matches while he was toothpicking his way out of my life.
And then D. of course, how could I ever forget that memorable night of our third date when he offered to walk me home, demanded I’d take him upstairs, and, after I’d refused, proceeded to call me a “Western feminist,” “not cool,” “disrespectful” and a lot of other things, carefully spread into one to two manipulative texts a day, before eventually informing me he is contemplating moving out of the country as “his friends were so wrong about Czech women being down for sex pretty quickly.” Yes I searched up his exact words just now.
Or M., who perhaps found it an excellent ice-breaker to express his love of small arms and shooting on our very first date. He insisted on telling me all about which particular models he owns and is currently considering buying as well as how hilarious it is to own guns as no one really is to be trusted these days or something. I pushed myself to smile as sweetly as I could and murmured something about laundry before taking off, as fast as I could.
Last but not least there’s T., who at the end of our date (also known as the date with zero chemistry, where we discussed his self-loathing tendencies and baking) tilted his head towards me, closed his eyes and whispered “You can kiss me now” or L., who took me for a very fancy dinner, turned out to be a total weirdo and continued to stalk me for another two years. A little hint on how to spot a weirdo for those who prefer to learn from somebody else’s mistakes: he brings you actual basil seeds (two different kinds, to be precise) and a head massager to your first date. A used one. In a Christmas gift bag. In July.
Enough about basil though. These are my all-time favorite bars to date at, totally bulletproof, well worth a visit in any weather, and with lights so soft you get complimented for looking amazing even after a two-day plane journey. Fact.
Surprising as this might appear to some, and I shall refrain from naming names here, this list does not include places where waitresses meowingly call you by your nickname, stag-friendly clubs with prostitutes ostentatiously smoking at the bar and music so loud any conversation is reduced to a combination of vigorous nodding and idiotic smiling, Hooters, and definitely not anything with “raw vepřo knedlo zelo” on the menu.
Pas a Pas
Pleasantly informal while still sweetly chic (and incredibly cheap!), this wine bar is a safe bet for any first-daters. Its cozy, tourist-free atmosphere and the dynamics of a honesty-bar (self-service) system manages to take off any date pressure without making it seem like you’re trying too hard. A subsequent walk along the river is an absolute must.
Pas a pas, Na Hrobci 1 (tram: Výtoň) www.pasapas.cz
Týnská Bar and Books
So sexy any plans to end your date with anything less than a full-on makeout session are just plain naive. Divine cocktails, great playlists and a very elegant setting.
Týnska Bar and Books, Týnska 19 (metro A: Staroměstská) www.barandbooks.cz/tynska/
Currently rumored to be Prague’s best wine bar, Red Pif with its absolutely fantastic authentic wines, beautiful ceilings, great food, amazing service… and yes, even a sex toy casually resting on the counter, is about as date-perfect as it gets.
Red Pif, Betlémská 9 (metro B: Národní třída) www.redpif.cz
Think a small bar right on the river, massive windows inviting you to indulge in the silhouette of the city as well as all its intoxicating lights reflected in the water and a wonderful ambience of live jazz, next to no light and excellent crowd to go with your drink.
Jazz Dock, Janáčkovo nábřeží 2 (tram: Arbesovo náměstí) www.jazzdock.cz
I have dearly loved this bar for ages, mainly because it has just the right ingredients to make your date a success – dim lights, fine drinks, sexy hideaways and hands-down Prague’s best DJs.
Buddha Bar, Jakubská 8 (metro A: Staroměstská) www.buddhabarhotelprague.com
As published in Prague Post.