With two locations in the GTA, Ottawa should be next. Photo: CC, Michael Rivera via Wikicommons.
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Ottawa’s dating scene needs a level-up

Arriving to Ottawa as a young single, I had never really taken into account what the dating scene would be like. Back home in my small town, the only options really were going to the movies or walking around by the waterfront. Nothing too flashy or exciting at all. Flash forward to Ottawa with a new red-haired boyfriend, I was overwhelmed by all the possibilities Ottawa has to offer for dating.

Skating on the Rideau Canal, going for hot chocolate and board games at the Loft, and macarons from Quelque-Chose are all great for dates. But four months later it feels as though we’ve fallen into a date routine, mostly just staying in and watching movies. Despite all the great things one can do in the nation’s capital, it would be great to have something new and hot for date night.

Dave & Buster’s is comparable to an “adult Chuck E Cheese” minus the creepy animatronics and greasy pizza. They offer a full service restaurant, bar, as well as an arcade. First opening in Dallas in 1982, the franchise is now spreading across North America, with two Canadian locations in Vaughan and Oakville. I think we’re definitely going to want one in our nation’s capital.

Not only would Dave & Buster’s be fun for friend groups, but it would also be an amazing date spot. Think about it; you’ve matched with a really cool person on Tinder and are nervous to meet them. Would you rather sit next to them in silence as you watch whatever movie is playing or would you rather crush them at Pac Man while snacking on nachos? Competition can be a great tool of flirtation, showing off your fun loving and easy going side.

Lansdowne would be a great place for a Dave & Buster’s as it’s relatively close to campus and a really nice area overall. Lansdowne offers some variety when it comes to restaurants and events, so you could switch up combinations. One day you could go hit up Dave & Buster’s for pre-game drinks, games and snacks, then head over to TD Place to watch a game. The Cineplex is also there which could make for a fun night of movies, the restaurant and arcade. Couples would be able to spice things up however they chose.

Even couples who have been together for a while, like me and my red-head, would definitely love to try out an arcade together. Incorporating an aspect of competition into date night could be a really fun change as opposed to streaming Game of Thrones in sweatpants.

So here’s how it works: you arrive at Dave & Buster’s with your date and you get a Power Card. This card takes away the hassle of feeding quarters into a game, saving your winnings as well so you don’t have to keep all your tickets to claim your prizes. You can even load up your card using an app if you’d rather that than waiting at the kiosk.

Once you’ve won a few games of skeet ball you can head over to the restaurant and pick from a wide selection of the staple burgers and nachos or even try something different like Build Your Own Churros and the millennials favourite: avocado toast. The evening would be filled with delicious food and fun games that could spark exciting competition and conversation for couples and dates.

To top it off, at the end of the night the points are redeemable for prizes, ranging from earbuds to huge plush toys. Winning your date a little plushy at the end of the night is an absolutely adorable idea.

Ottawa doesn’t have its own Dave & Buster’s yet, but I believe that it would be a great addition to our dating scene, for couples young and old on a first date or a 20th date.