Despite being from opposite sides of the continent-Colette was born in the Northwest, Chris hails from eastern Canada-tonight's blind daters share a taste for at least one thing: life in San Diego. Whether or not they have an appetite for each other remains to be seen.
Before they meet for the first time at Mini Bar, a 12-seat speakeasy-vibed venue hidden inside the new Bootlegger in East Village, let's review the pre-date interviews.
PacificSD: Where are you from?
CHRIS: I was born in Toronto, Ontario. I now live in Scripps Ranch, California. This is the place to be.
COLETTE: I'm from Seattle. I moved to San Diego in January to get away from the rain.
What do you do for a living?
CHRIS: I've always been self-employed. I started my own web/logo design company, CreationGURU.com, and now I'm doing some exciting things with an international business, Royilty.com.
COLETTE: I'm the media relations coordinator at Alternative Strategies, a marketing communications firm. Basically, I get people and businesses featured in the media and I'm the editor of our company's newsletter and blog. I also do freelance writing on the side.
What do you do for fun?
CHRIS: Riding motorcycles and playing hockey are my two big ones. Other than physical activities, I enjoy social events like Padres and Chargers games, going on brewery and winery limo tours, and cooking.
COLETTE: I like to travel. Right now I've been taking a lot of weekend road trips just to see what's around me, since I'm still pretty new to San Diego. I also play piano and ride horses.
What are you looking for in a date?
CHRIS: I like a girl to be happy, self-confident and at least a little athletic. Someone that laughs at their own jokes-nobody likes drama.
COLETTE: I'm almost 5'9" and won't date anyone shorter than 6'1", no exceptions. I love a handsome face, of course. And like all people, I'm looking for someone who I can connect with on a deeper level, who looks at life the same way I do. I like artistic types, but they have to maintain their masculinity. That's a rare combination.
What's the sexiest thing about you?
CHRIS: Other than my camo Crocs, I would say it's a tie between my smile and confidence.
COLETTE: I think the sexiest thing about me is that I think I'm sexy. I always have and I think I always will, even when I'm 80 years old.
What's your thing to eat?
CHRIS: The food I cook myself. Habanero spaghetti is Number One.
COLETTE: Whoopie Pies.
Chris is sitting inside Mini Bar when Colette arrives and the two begin to talk over drinks. Leaving the daters to get acquainted in privacy-not counting the couple's private bartender, who's making cocktails with mini-bar-sized bottles of booze-the magazine crew retreats to the main bar at Bootlegger.
After about an hour, the daters head out onto Market Street for the one-block walk over to the award-winning Lotus Thai.
Spicing things up over dinner
Colette and Chris are in for a treat: a custom tasting menu courtesy of the chef at Lotus Thai, starting with shrimp in herb marinade wrapped in wonton skins, spring rolls with fresh vegetables and plum sauce and other house favorite appetizers. For the main course, they try the sea bass in pesto lime sauce and a pork dish with complex Thai flavors.
After they've had a chance to sample the food and their rice wine cocktails, the couple is split for mid-date debriefings.
PacificSD: How's it going so far?
CHRIS: It's been a good night so far. I'm pretty impressed. She's very attractive.
COLLETTE: It's good, he's nice. I was stressed, but he's actually cute. I'm happy.
Is this the type of person you would normally date?
CHRIS: It's kind of hard to tell now, but, yeah-she seems very blunt in a good way, as opposed to saying what I want to hear.
COLETTE: I don't know what my type is, but he's definitely in that realm.
How was Bootlegger?
CHRIS: I love beer, and they had a lot of good beers there, so that was a pretty good thing for me. I liked the Mini Bar-we did mini shots of every drink we could imagine.
COLETTE: We were in a private room, so that was nice, because I felt like I got to know Chris without a lot of eyes watching us. This is definitely my first blind date that's recorded and will be shown to the whole county, but it was pretty comfortable.
What's the most attractive thing your date has done so far?
CHRIS: I'd say just her confidence, like her talking to the server instead of expecting me to say something. Whenever she has an opinion, she just says it. I like that a lot.
COLETTE: I feel like he hasn't tried to pull any stunts and try to impress me. He's just been a normal person, and that has helped me be comfortable as well not be turned off by someone who brags and all that sort of thing.
Least attractive thing?
CHRIS: To be honest, I haven't found something yet.
COLETTE: He doesn't always seem so focused on the conversation we're having.
What would your parents say?
CHRIS: My parents would love her, the fact that she's honest and just speaks her mind.
COLETTE: My mom would like him. My dad would say, "Tell him to get rid of the earring, and then he's good."
Rate your date on a scale from one to 10 for looks.
CHRIS: She'd be a nine or 10 for sure.
COLETTE: Between an eight and a nine.
And for personality?
CHRIS: From what I've met so far, easy eight; could be a ten later on.
COLETTE: Same, between an eight and a nine.
Would you like to kiss your date right now?
CHRIS: I could see that, yeah.
COLETTE: Nah, I'm not to that point yet.
Does your date want to kiss you now?
CHRIS: I could read into it a little bit, possibly, yeah.
COLETTE: Honestly, I don't know.
If you had to leave now with $100 cash or stay and make out with your date, what would you do?
CHRIS: I'd probably stay.
COLETTE: I'm having fun. I'd probably stay.
After the interviews, the couple returns to their table to finish dinner. If the rest of the evening heats up like their flaming ice cream dessert, we may be in for a scorcher, date fans.
Next stop: a little boom-boom-the grand opening of BPM (beats per minute) Thursdays, the new weekly electronic dance music party at Bar West in Pacific Beach.
The blind date goes bump-bump-bump in the night
At the base of the searchlights panning the sky for tonight's special event, the bass from inside Bar West is booming. As Colette and Chris arrive, they're escorted past the line to the VIP table at the back of the club, where they're armed with drinks, Star Wars lightsaber-esque glow sticks and other tricks of the electronic music trade.
The daters appear to be hitting it off when they're finally left alone to enjoy the rest of their evening away from the prying eyes of the magazine crew. We call the next morning to see what we missed.
PacificSD: Overall, how was the date?
CHRIS: Couldn't have been better-a pretty girl, great dinner and a limo to Bar West.
COLLETE: I definitely had a good time, and he was really nice, but he was texting a lot. I saw his phone as much as I saw him. I had high hopes, because I initially thought he was attractive, but by the middle of the date I started feeling disappointed because I didn't sense that he was really flirting with me. I like a man to pursue me and really show that he's interested, but Chris seemed sort of passive sometimes.
How was Lotus Thai?
CHRIS: I liked the dark lighting, and the food was pretty impressive. The employees were very friendly. The best part was the flaming ice cream; we finished that in about two seconds.
COLETTE: Lotus Thai was quiet, dimly lit and tranquil. It's the perfect ambiance for a date and it's in a great location. Trying out the combo platter-something new with someone new-was a smart move for a first date. And the other dishes, sea bass and spicy pork, were flawless. I would go again, but probably with someone else.
Describe the limo ride to Pacific Beach.
CHRIS: We had an interesting conversation with the driver while running a couple red lights. We talked about how fun it was to have paparazzi for a night.
COLETTE: Chris seemed to chat it up with the driver nearly the whole time, and they swapped party stories. I felt semi-ignored-he should have been talking to me, not the driver.
How was Bar West?
CHRIS: The music was good; Sid Vicious was DJ-ing for the launch of BPM Thursdays. It was a crazy night.
COLETTE: There was a long line outside the door, and the place was packed, in a good way. I think the smaller size creates a better sense of intimacy with the other club-goers. The place had a ton of energy and was going strong when we left at midnight.
What did you do there?
CHRIS: We had drinks at the table with some friends. After that, we went in the Svedka video booth and made a couple funny videos. We danced and hung out on the couch together. Near the end of the night, went up to the DJ booth.
COLETTE: We got all decked out and took funny photos at the booth, went a little glow-stick crazy, mingled a bit. We had the table up on the stage area, so we sat back, drinks in hand, and just hung out for a while.
Was there a romantic connection?
CHRIS: Hard to tell on the first date, but we were very comfortable and open talking to each other.
COLETTE: I can't say there was one, but I wouldn't totally rule it out. I'm completely sure that if Chris had been more forward and shown more interest, I would've actually become more interested in him.
What did you do after the magazine crew left?
CHRIS: After Bar West, our driver dropped us back off at Lotus Thai downtown, and I walked her to her car. We exchanged phone numbers, talked for a few then went home.
COLETTE: A Town Car came to Bar West to bring us back to our cars downtown, and I sat close to him in the back seat, but nothing happened. He walked me to my car, which I appreciated, and then I went home.
Was there a kiss?
CHRIS: There was no kissing, but there was definitely a connection.
COLETTE: There were several times throughout the end of the night that he could've successfully gone in for a kiss, which would've sparked more romantic interest for me, but he didn't.
Fill in the blanks: If my date were a food, he/she would be "blank," and I would have to "blank" him/her.
CHRIS: Frozen yogurt, and I would spoon her.
COLETTE: Produce that hadn't ripened, and I would have to come back later for him.
Last night, both daters enjoyed the private cocktails at Mini Bar, the custom dinner menu at Lotus Thai and the late-night dancetravaganza that is Bar West. And based upon what they said, Colette and Chris seemed also to like each other. Despite their mutual attraction, however, Chris' texting left a bad taste (as opposed to his tongue) in Colette's mouth. Opportunity lost, dude.
Words of advice from sage matchmakers: Chris, if you're hoping for a kiss, some spooning or a slice of that proverbial Whoopie Pie on your second date, put down your phone (after calling Colette, don't wait for her to call you) and make your move. As for you, Colette, if you really know what you want, and Chris is the unripe apple of your eye, you may have to Canuck yourself-grab him by the scruff of his neck, give him a kiss and make that Canadian man yours, eh?
804 Market St., Gaslamp
619.794.BOOT (2668), bootleggersd.com
909 Market St., Gaslamp
959 Hornblend St., Pacific Beach
858.273.WEST (9378), barwestsd.com