Game of love breakdown
Let SN&R keep watch over you this Valentine’s Day as we classify every potential dating option for your love-connection convenience
Where to find: Stiletto babes can be found teetering across the dance floors (or shivering in miniskirts outside) of any nightclub whose website boasts buzzwords like “sophisticated,” “classy” and “upscale.” See Social Nightclub, Harlow’s Momo Lounge, Splash Bar and Azukar.
First date: Hit the new strip in Sacramento: drinks at Dive Bar, dinner at Pizza Rock and dancing at District 30. Parking can be dodgy, so consider whether to drop her off at the door, cab it or bring money for panhandlers.
Getting serious: If you can’t use your frequent-flyer miles to spring for a weekend in Manhattan like Mr. Big, a bag from the Coach store in Arden Fair will send the right message.
Pickup line: “Appletini?”
Where to find: Rarely will you find a hipster outside his Midtown/downtown province. This is because he often has no cash, but also because suburbia’s vast expanse would wear down his Chuck Taylors in no time. Find hipsters in the central city at Temple Fine Coffee and Tea, Phono Select records, Pieces Pizza or your neighborhood medical-cannabis dispensary.
First date: Give yourself $10. Start with a $6 pitcher of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a $3 grilled cheese at Old Tavern, then perhaps a makeout session at the fountain at Fremont Park, where you can bum cigarettes and change to add on to that last dollar and buy a coffee at Naked Lounge.
Getting serious: If date No. 1 for some reason charms, the best bet for No. 2 is to grab a six-pack from A&P Liquor on 21st and K streets, then visit http://kdvs.org for that evening’s underground music gig. Or just go home, drink the beers and take naughty Hipstamatic iPhone photos of each other.
Pickup line: “You want a swig of my Schlitz?”
Where to find: Spot new-to-market divorcées anywhere a band or deejay is playing the music of their heyday. Try ’80s and ’90s cover bands at Folsom’s PowerHouse Pub, classic rock at Marilyn’s on K or any soul concert presented by V101.1 FM.
First date: Keep things light and active to avoid spending a long night rehashing the drama of a marriage gone awry. Try a comedy show at the Punch Line or—in warmer weather—renting a two-person kayak on Lake Natoma.
Getting serious: Book an overnight getaway at the art deco Ryde Hotel on the Sacramento Delta. Take long river walks, explore nearby Delta towns and linger over brunch with all-you-can-drink mimosas. By Sunday morning, both parties should know if they’re ready for another commitment.
Pickup line: “Your ex sounds like a jerk.”
Where to find: Davis has the largest concentration of single undergrads. Try spots like the Davis Graduate, KetMoRee and Sophia’s Thai Kitchen. During the day, students gather at coffee shops like Delta of Venus, Mishka’s Café and the campus library or bookstore.
First date: Think cheap and romantic. Take your undergrad to the Davis Farmers Market to browse locally grown produce and listen to live music in the summer. Go for a stroll in the scenic UC Davis Arboretum or check out the Second Friday ArtAbout. For a casual dinner, try Burgers and Brew or Uncle Vito’s and finish the night off with frozen yogurt at Yolo Berry.
Getting serious: When you’re ready to drop more cash, Davis has plenty of classy restaurants. The Mustard Seed serves delicious food in a cozy setting. Little Prague Bohemian Restaurant has outdoor fireplaces and live music, and Tucos Wine Market and Cafe offers wine flights and unique small plates.
Pickup line: “I should switch my major to fine arts, so I can study you.”
Single, with kids
Where to find: It’s not easy to chat up single parents at family-friendly locales like the Sacramento Zoo, roller rinks and peewee sporting events. Instead, look for them on online dating sites, updating their profiles after the kids are in bed.
First date: Get to know each other one on one, without the kids. Single parents are paying the sitter by the hour, so a simple, casual dinner close to home is best. Try the nearest reliably delicious branch of the Fats restaurants or a Bistro 33.
Getting serious: It’s time to meet the kids. Explore Fairytale Town, take in a round of Monster Mini Golf or spring for an afternoon of pizza, bumper cars and laser tag at John’s Incredible Pizza Co. in Roseville.
Pickup line: “If I give you a 20 for the sitter, can we stay out past midnight?”
Where to find: Bros gather in packs, whether at a Kings game (look for pristine San Francisco Giants caps and Coors Lights), Zócalo in Midtown ($150 denim, pressed white button-ups) or Powerhouse Pub in Folsom (Nickelback tees). There’s no need to hunt down a bro; if you’re a babe, the bro and his brohorts will eye you like a hawk.
First date: A date with a bro is like taking a kindergartner to Chuck E. Cheese’s. Food should skew meaty, gooey and crunchy. Try Chicago Fire or even Jimboy’s Tacos. Fun should be competitive (think Dave & Buster’s in Roseville), so the bro can reaffirm his sense of dominance. Coffee or cocktails are no-nos, as conversation—just like with a 6-year-old—won’t amount to much.
Getting serious: Eventually, a bro will want you to go on a group date with his bro pack. Avoid this; a bro is not himself among broleagues, and no doubt this date will be the last. If you must, try an IMAX 3-D movie, where bromraderie is limited.
Pickup line: “I’ve got Hot Pockets back at my apartment.”
Where to find: Spot well-to-do corporate execs in the bar of the downtown Sheraton Grand, the restaurant of the Sacramento Executive Airport or on the stair climber at Capital Athletic Club.
First date: Dine on the open-air patio at Hawks in Granite Bay, complete with couches, a reflecting pool, fireplace and scenic views.
Getting serious: Take the corporate jet to Monterey for the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf celebrity safari in February. (Be sure to clear the plane of the secret stash of back issues of Maxim. Replace with Wall Street Journals.)
Pickup line: “Need a ride downtown? My limo has plenty of room.”
Where to meet: If Faces is closed, try Urban Fitness & Wellness Center in Midtown or the 24 Hour Fitness downtown. More difficult: Snag a bunny refueling with an oatmeal-and-juice dinner at any Jamba Juice location.
First date: After a long hard workout, take in an evening of Drag Queen Bingo at Hamburger Patties, or trivia night at The Depot. Before you go further, you need to find out if your meaty man-date is as intellectually stimulating as he is visually.
Getting serious: Relax over a couples massage—any opportunity for your bunny to take off his shirt again.
Pickup line: “Call Freddie Mercury! I think I found me some bunny to love!”
Where to meet: Find her in the front row at any direct action for equality, or at a potluck dinner where protests are organized. She’ll bring her signature dish: broccoli-and-rice casserole. Cheeseless, of course; some people here are vegan.
First date: A good vegan place like Sugar Plum Vegan or Sunflower Drive In in Fair Oaks, since you don’t yet know her politics. It wouldn’t do to offend her with the smell of flesh. Bonus: If she really is vegan, she’ll adore you. Unhappy bonus: If she’s a carnivore, she might think you’ll take too much energy.
Getting serious: You’ll need a rental van. Cliché, it’s true, but U-Haul will probably be the most convenient. Try the one on Broadway. Don’t forget to stop at Capitol Ace Hardware for boxes and packing tape.
Pickup line: “Marxist-feminist or neo-marxist-post-feminist?” (You really need to know, because the only place we’ll need post-feminists is in the post-patriarchy.)