You might also try the Eastern-European themed Korzo in Brooklyn (with a $51 median cost, and a customer base that is 61% singles), which offers unlimited Bloody Marys or Mimosas for only $9. Broadway Cellars in Chicago (unlimited brunch drinks, overwhelmingly youthful crowd) is another good choice for daytime weekend dining, and has a median cost of $57. Austin Texas' South Congress Café boasts a youthful scene and will only cost diners, on average, $44.
Like the saying goes: there's no such thing as a free lunch (or brunch, for that matter), but compare these afternoon tabs to footing the bill for a dinner, movie, and drinks. With the brunch date, you've not only supplied a lovely day (and possibly more), but you've also managed to stand out from the dinner date status quo.
2. Thursday Night Gallery Tour
First, we must differentiate art galleries. There are main street venues that call themselves "galleries"—they sell pleasant watercolor landscapes at reasonable prices to adorn the walls of diners and hotels lobbies. Generally speaking, these are not where you should bring a sophisticated date. You're looking for the hipper, weirder fine art galleries (though keep in mind, anyone can and will use that term "fine").
Most cities boast a "gallery district" of some kind where several galleries are congregated within blocks of each other. These gallery spaces change up their art on a regular basis, sometimes as often as weekly or monthly. And to mark these new offerings, they have opening receptions, which nearly uniformly offer light snacks and more importantly, wine. All free.
And as it turns out, most gallery openings tend to happen on the same day of the week. Lori Zimmer of ArtNerdNewYork told us that when it comes to gallery openings all around the world, "Thursday is a biggie. They'll also happen on Friday or Saturday, but pretty much Thursday is the big day." You can spend around 20 minutes at each reception, but once you've hit a few, all of a sudden, you've experienced a full evening date ripe with art and conversation.
Imagine you and your date are strolling around the neighborhood, taking in some culture, conversing, people watching—the conversation gets easier and the laughs deeper as you consume ever more plastic glasses of white wine (but you're in an art gallery, so remember, this is classy). Galleries generally hold their openings in the early evening, so you may want to plan an activity for later in the evening if everything is going well.
Our data for the Robert Mann Gallery in NYC's Chelsea district reveals a clientele that is made up of 73% married couples, and around 80% of visitors are between 36 and 65—not the kind of crowd you might associate with a hot date. But, keep in mind, Bundle's numbers only represent people who actually purchase multi-hundred or thousand-dollar works. The open receptions attract younger, classy freeloaders (classloaders), who imbibe the complimentary culture and drinks.
But what if you're not an art guy? Don't be intimidated. Just remember some buzz phrases "this makes me think of…" or "I think the artist was going for this…" And you can easily move the conversation to people watching or just say, "let's hit the next one."