First Date columnist Brek Dalrymple has some choice advice for that all-important ...

Picture this:
You met a cool girl, but you want to take her to a great place that’s just right on a first date (or so) and really see what’s what …. a place where you can focus on each other in a cool, sexy, and quiet atmosphere.
A place where you can get a little bit close …. where you can connect without having Jersey Shore dudes throw up on her shoes. Where the vibe of the place creates an environment that’s conducive to kickstarting what could be a meaningful three week relationship! You need the right place to get the party started, and it’s my job to help you find it.
There are a few core components to think about:
1. Vibe: a little trendy, modern, with a laid back, chilled out atmosphere. Space to move, sofa’s to sidle up next to her. Not expensive, but not cheap either. An unobtrusive staff, relaxed, friendly and with good drinks.
2. Location : This is critical! You need to find a place that’s close to your very own double-wide, so that if you’re feeling it, you can take it back to your home turf, or, at minimum, convenient so that she’s not thinking I’ve got a 45 minute drive, and got to get up at 5:30 for my Ultimate Cage Fighting class. This is critical so she’s not distracted.
3. Price – IMO-only losers try to impress girls on a first date by dropping a couple hundred bucks on Park Avenue. Why? Because you’ve just screwed yourself — not the good kind, either — with this girl forever. She will perennially compare any subsequent dates with you to your first “fake” date. You don’t really know her yet, and she doesn’t really know you, so don’t mis-represent yourself if you’re really a Sony’s BBQ guy and don’t actually know what Cerviche actually is. My experience has thought me that really cool girls love it when a great guy actually reaches them on some unexpected level …. when you dig down deep. It’s a powerful statement of who you are as a man — not just trying to score. Not an idiot hipster or insecure wimp. You are a man and the real deal — just like her. So, just take her to a nice place that says nice.
4. Options: Sort of like the paragraph above. It’s not a good idea to pick a place that’s not near other entertainment options – a place for strolling, dessert, or a real dinner, etc. Normally the more options next door the better, in case my advice sucks and you need a plan B.
5. Music: A place that has the right type of music is also a core advantage. Music triggers emotional responses in us. Music that you and she both like equals synapses firing, which equals a better chance at making her feel relaxed and a little sexy … which equals a home run.
My First Date recommendation is: The Imperial Bar in College Park.
What: A wine bar/beer bar with some apps.
Where: The College Park antique district, at Orange Avenue and New Hampshire.
When: First wave is about 7:30 p.m., with a little lull and then a strong and beautiful later night crowd. About 11ish.
Special Characteristics: Inside and outside seating. But the vibe is why you show up. Lot’s of places to hideout and pull her in close and get a little action. Awesome.
Prices: From $6 and up for a glass of vino. The bar dudes and dudettes are not snobby when you ask for a recommendation. But they are really nice and really helpful. So ask if you don’t know. It’s also cool to just buy a bottle, and take it to your little hidden nook of love.
Why: The Imperial is a funky, laid back, cool bar to take a first date. It’s a place with an incredible atmosphere – having the advantage of actually being inside a fun, funky asian furniture warehouse. Yep, that is not a misprint. A fantastic location near everything. If the date is going well, make out in one of the many secluded nooks the bar has. Or take her for a moonlight walk around Lake Ivanhoe, or for dessert at The White Wolf Cafe. There are so many options for you than versions of MS Windows.
Other: Wine or beer, both options are perfect. The cozy modern little courtyard will cause most chicks to be in chick nirvana. Walk her around looking at the interesting furniture if the conversation lags, and ask her which are her fav’s and why. Oh, and don’t talk about yourself. The Dude in the movie “The 40 Year Old Virgin” nailed it: Just ask her questions and listen.
Sit at the bar and chat with the bartenders. They are cool enough, without being so cool as to make me realize how un-cool I am. The manager is great, but I forgot his name and his babe wife is great – having run the wine bar downtown for a long time.
No Valet parking. You don’t have to worry about being judged for driving a silver Pontiac. Just park and walk in the side door. Walk up to the awesome hewn log that’s been lacquered and serves as the main bar. If you two love birds have anything in common at all, and you have any mojo at all, you’ll make her feel all fuzzy and relaxed. The rest is up to you.

Contact Brek Dalrymple at


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  2. Hey Brek:

    Thanks for the insight on what sounds like an awesome date place!

    I liked your tongue-in-cheek writing! Keep up the good work. Me and my friends are planning on meeting there this weekend!


  3. You talk about where to take the ladies, but that sounds like you’re discriminating against the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual, polisexual and meterosexual community. Where are we gays supposed to go on a first date, Nancy? Stop being such a bigot and give us some hints, too! (By the way, sweetie, your photo is DIVINE!)

  4. Wow. Still with your shirt off.
    Cardio. Less Carbs.
    Im suprised you didnt review a gay bar.
    you must consider yourself a ladies man, but in reality you hang out with other “lame” guys to paint yourself as the “pick of the litter”.
    You couldnt hold a candle to real men, huh?

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