Here’s Where to Disappear When Your Date’s a Dud
There’s no denying that Hinge and other dating apps are hit or miss. While it’s great to put yourself out there with some swipes, there’s nothing worse than getting stuck on a date that’s a total dud. From awkward pauses to a complete lack of chemistry, sometimes it’s best to cut the cord and call it early. Though ghosting isn’t the most mature form of bidding farewell, if the date is bad enough, it’s justified. That said, not all bars are great for ghosting. Thankfully, these busy LA bars are just loud enough to provide an easy escape from the cringey conversations.
Capri Club has been the hottest place for a negroni in LA since 1963. The timeless interior has a retro appeal that sets the backdrop for a first date that’s in need of some quality cocktails. East LA locals flock here all week long, but the weekends become especially busy. Simply walk in, order a frozen negroni and see where the night takes you. If you need to stuff your face to save some face, Capri Club also serves some tasty bites ranging from fried fava beans, olives and almonds to tuna-stuffed peppers.
Location: Eagle Rock
There’s nothing like a busy brewery to lighten the mood and cure some first-date anxieties. All Season Brewing is centrally located in the Miracle Mile area of LA, making it a great meeting point that isn’t too far out of the way from any neighborhood—should you need to make a hasty escape. The brewery sits in none other than the iconic Firestone Tire Shop, and there are plenty of communal-style tables in case you want to mix and mingle with other guests to break the ice.
Location: Miracle Mile
Located in Chinatown, Homage Brewing is the ultimate place for natural wines and crisp lagers amid a modern atmosphere. Though there are plenty of places to sit and relax, you’ll find that Homage Brewing gets pretty packed on the weekends. Not finding that the conversation is flowing as easily as the beer? Head to the Garage once it’s time to ghost. You’ll find plenty of people dancing and drinking, offering the perfect setting for a sneaky (and slightly immoral) farewell.
Even the most boring of dates will find plenty of fun at Mama Shelter’s downstairs bar. Though the colorful rooftop definitely lives up to the hype, the lobby bar and restaurant is just as happening. Once the conversation runs dry, quench your thirst with the zesty Mamacita cocktail. Even though your date might not be endgame material, the Endgame cocktail is a must-try fruity concoction boasting flavors of watermelon and lychee. You’ll also find unique entertainment like foosball in the bar, so shoot your shot after your date fails to shoot theirs.
As the name suggests, Arts District Brewing Co. is situated in the heart of LA’s vibrant Arts District. This bustling brewery has a casual and industrial charm, resulting in a comfortable ambiance that doesn’t feel too romantic and pressured. If the eye contact isn’t generating sparks, sit side by side at one of the many booths by the bar and watch as the bartenders work their magic with more than 30 craft beers on tap. The beer cheese spinach dip is perfect for sharing, but if you plan on staying single, the classic cheeseburger never gets old.
Location: Arts District
Mr. Wanderlust is a brand-new library-inspired piano bar that recently opened at the one-of-a-kind Level 8 entertainment concept in DTLA. The dim lighting is prime, and if things start going downhill fast, your facial expressions will be easily concealed. That said, the drinks are pretty delicious, so do your best to stick around for at least one craft cocktail. In addition to a live pianist, expect some cool acrobatic performances. In other words, there are plenty of lively distractions should your conversation go dead.
The Bungalow is an iconic indoor and outdoor bar located in Santa Monica. This oceanside establishment feels more like an old-school frat party than it does a lounge, and you’ll find it packed to the brim Thursday through Sunday. The drinks are stiff and the ambiance is busy, but there are plenty of cozy corners and nooks where you can find a quiet space. That said, if you need an excuse to get off an awkward topic, simply make some new friends in the billiards room with a game of pool.
Location: Santa Monica
In addition to being one of the most beautiful restaurants in Silver Lake, Bacari also doubles as a dimly lit lounge that hosts live entertainment and music. In fact, you can stay as late as 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, should you be blessed with a great first date from the Hinge gods. However, if you’re not so lucky, Bacari makes it pretty easy to embark on a sweet escape. P.S. Don’t forget to try at least one Mad Mango Sour before dipping.
Location: Silver Lake
Though The Normandie Club has only been around since 2015, Hotel Normandie has been a LA staple since 1926. It’s been around for almost 100 years, and it will certainly be around longer than your next relationship, making it a comforting and consistent go-to for your next Hinge date. The drink menu features modern twists on timeless classics, and the Old Fashioned is made with a coconut-washed bourbon that is truly one of a kind. This community-oriented bar has an effortlessly cool and casual ambiance that you’ll surely fall in love with—even if your date is not the one.
Live music is a necessary buffer when trying to get out of a disappointing date, and no place does groovy tunes better than The Stowaway. This unique bar is located in the basement of DTLA’s El Dorado Lofts. From pop and party music to smooth jazz, The Stowaway turns up the volume all week long. Sip signature cocktails, like the refreshing Cruise Control, or enjoy a classic martini while feeling out the vibes of your date. Should things go south, simply skedaddle on out before the DJ spins the next record.
Allie Lebos graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017 with a BA in Communication. While in school she was a staff writer at The Daily Nexus for nearly two years. Since graduating she has written for The Palisades Magazine, as well as Hidden Hills Magazine. Currently living in Santa Monica, Allie loves to indulge in good food, hot yoga, and daily walks along the beach; writing articles on travel, special events, as well as features on local businesses and individuals.