Best Non-Threatening First Date Bar

The Red Garter

Staff Pick

It's just dark enough for comfort, but light enough to keep it from feeling sleazy. You'll find a full bar, good beer on tap and excellent waitresses. But there's also an improbably wholesome quality to this windowless Speedway saloon that keeps things "safe." Maybe it's the all-American kid-friendly menu, or the constant feed of sports on the big-screen TV, but there's something that keeps a first date from having that first-date feeling. The Garter is like your local dive bar, but without the local freak show that might scare off this person who just might be the future mother or father of your child. Meet your stranger of a date here on a weeknight, slip into a vinyl booth and order that first round. You can share a basket of excellent french fries, take turns selecting tunes from the '70s-'80s-heavy jukebox and maybe play a little pool. Then return to the booth, comfortably buzzed, and make easy, idle conversation until closing time, when you can make out in front of your cars before heading to your respective homes. The giant black horse painted on the west-facing wall will give you something to stare at while agreeing to go out again soon--whether or not you mean it.
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