When it comes to finding love—or just a little fun—the best advice comes from the world of real estate: location, location, location. Yes, it takes guts to
approach someone who makes you flush but, with the right atmosphere, you can make magic.
Some like the high energy of a bar filled to the brim with people living it up. This can be good for your dating life—which is, in some ways, a numbers game. So many people, so little time!
Westchester Sports Bar & Grille
320 Yonkers Ave, Yonkers
(914) 375-6620; thehauntrocks.com
The haunted Westchester Sports Bar & Grille can fit up to 850 people within its three rooms. The major attraction is The Haunt, the largest of the rooms and the venue for live music. But if you’re not in the mood to catch a show, you can eat at the restaurant, watch the game on one of the more than 15 flat-screen TVs, or relax in the lounge area—the perfect place to chat with that stranger you met in one of the other rooms. On the weekends, the crowd are in their 20s and 30s, but it largely depends on the musical act, so check thehauntrocks.com to see what interests you. You might wind up trying a Friday night salsa lesson or one of the Meetup.com events for singles. And if you don’t meet anyone you want to date, you might still be introduced to one of the three ghosts said to haunt the place—so you can still consider it a good night.
Black Bear Saloon, 166 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains; (914) 422-3270
Kelly’s Pub & Grill, 199 E Post Rd, White Plains; (914) 993-0625
The Thirsty Turtle, 201 East Post Rd White Plains; (914) 993-0505 thethirstyturtle.net
White Plains has a lot of nightlife options, and most of the hottest hotspots are conveniently located just a short walk—sometimes just steps—from each other. Black Bear Saloon, Kelly’s Pub & Grill, and the Thirsty Turtle all draw big crowds with drinks and dancing on their minds. Each spot has its own flavor. Sometimes Kelly’s sporty bar and patio opens up into the party factory also known as the Thirsty Turtle, “home of the ultimate party,” for an out-and-out great bash. Black Bear, a polished-wood haven characterized as a “modern day” saloon, appeals to the masses, delivering a universally good time. If you have bad luck meeting an eligible bachelor or bachelorette at one of these locales, just move on to the next one.
A coffeehouse provides the perfect environment to make a real connection. The relaxed, communal feel will give you a chance to chat—and actually hear what the other person is saying.
Coffee Labs Roasters
7 Main St, Tarrytown
Coffee Labs Roasters not only produces award-winning coffee, but also is completely environmentally friendly from the biodegradable cups to the coffee grinds, which are sent to a local compost program. While the carbon footprint of running the shop has been completely offset thanks to the forward-thinking owners, the pale yellow space with its antique coffee grinder feels traditional. Dogs frequent the shop, à la the cafés of Europe, and they have their own drink station at the self-filling water bowls located just outside. It’s a great place to strike up a conversation about how nicely groomed Fifi is and what little Fido did yesterday and, if that doesn’t work, talk about your opinion of the available free-trade coffee. Besides, nursing a cup of coffee by the big arched window overlooking the street gives you an excuse to linger and see who comes in and out.
The Lighthouse Coffee Co.
222 Beekman Ave, Sleepy Hollow
The historic charm is palpable at the Lighthouse Coffee Co., which had a previous life as the home of watercolor artist Stephen J. Serina, Jr. The building, which overlooks the Hudson River, has been converted into a coffeehouse on two levels, but still looks very much like an inviting home. The coffee bar is in the exact location where the artist’s easel once was, according to his son and house owner, Gary Serina. The watercolors of local landmarks scattered across the walls make great conversation starters, and the cozy couches invite strangers to sit and chat. Although you could meet someone new any time, the best time to meet someone here is during one of the special weekend musical events, which are alcohol-free. This is great for those sick and tired of booze-inspired hook-ups. It’s just you, good music, good eats—and good company.
Hotel bars are a great way to meet interesting travelers for compelling evenings—and can often also provide you with a happening local scene.
City Martini Lounge
Radisson Hotel, 1 Radisson Plz
New Rochelle (914) 576-4141
This is a 32-year-old mainstay for those looking for a little after-hours fun dancing to the oldies and nibbling on food, which is served until 1 am and prepared by the hotel’s restaurant, Chow House. The usual crowd is a mix of couples and singles coming from the surrounding area and local businesses—and they have been coming for years: meeting, marrying, and starting families. If you’re looking for those intriguing out-of-towners, visit on weekends late in the evening, when hotel guests attending special events spill out into the lounge. The crowd also mixes up a bit on charity fund-raising or special event nights, such as one themed night inspired by The Sopranos. The Hotel organizes dating events here, too; call to ask about the Sunday evening alternative-lifestyle singles happy hour.
Teddy’s Night Club at
Holiday Inn Mount Kisco
1 Holiday Inn Dr, Mount Kisco
Teddy’s Night Club has a lot going on under the lights strung from the ceiling. Not only are there DJs rocking karaoke and disco parties, but there is also speed-dating and other events sponsored by Cupid.com. The dance floor has seating around it so you can mix, mingle, and rest your tired feet. On Thursdays, the club hosts salsa instructor Audrey St. Vincent for an evening of free lessons plus spicy music sure to get the blood rushing. Don’t miss the Classic Car Cruise either, when classic cars (and the grill) are fired up in front of the Inn Friday nights, May through October. This event attracts a crowd from New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, as attendees watch the cars compete for prizes in a carnival-esque show with magicians, games, and a charity raffle.
Luck of the Irish
The hallmark of a good Irish pub is unpretentious fun!
300 Railroad Ave, Peekskill
P.J. Kelly’s is a draw all day long, from the working lunch crowd, to the local happy hour crowd, to the family dinner crowd, to the young nightlife crowd. The character of the bar comes from its roots as the old Vanderbilt train station, built in 1872. From the wainscoting to the high ceiling, the old-fashion flavor makes its presence felt. The best time to try your luck finding a mate is when the outdoor patio opens in the summer, offering larger crowds a chance to mingle informally from table to table while enjoying one of 10 cold beers always on tap. The night also comes alive when the house band, led by Jim Keneally, plays its monthly gig with the synergy of a rock star band. In keeping with its Irish heritage, the bar will begin playing traditional Irish music every Thursday after a full moon, an event known as the Rising of the Moon. You’ll be sure to meet an Irish lad or lass.
583 Willett Ave, Port Chester
Popular with those pouring out of Connecticut bars in Greenwich and Stamford, this bar provides a laid-back atmosphere friendly to those working off-hour shifts, such as policemen, firemen, and nurses. Since 1990, the Tuesday wings and late-night pizza have been big hits. Friday nights seem to be especially popular, when people arrive, paycheck in hand, to start the weekend. The bar side of the restaurant is an intimate size, providing just enough room for one large rectangular bar. Along the four walls, you can socialize, play the jukebox or arcade games, and keep an eye out for alluring newcomers.
Meet the chic here. If you appreciate the look of sophistication, look no further.
446 Bedford Rd. Pleasantville
(914) 747-4740; lucys-lounge.com
Take a sip of Lucy’s aptly named “Flirtini” as you relax at the bar, or at a chic booth, or outdoors on the patio, weather permitting. The Flirtini is just one of a multitude of the lounge’s creative cocktails. The feel is casual yet sophisticated, and the crowd strives to make Lucy’s a key ingredient to a fun evening. The Pleasantville train station is just across the street, so you may find a good-looking stranger among those visiting Lucy’s to meet up and start the evening with a pre-dinner drink. You won’t find a meal here, but the extensive wine, beer, and Martini lists are sure to please, and home is just a train-ride away.
99 Church St, White Plains
(914) 220-0000; bluewhiteplains.com
Area professionals will unwind and perhaps pass out a few business cards here when the workday is done, sometimes for a gathering that stays well past the typical “happy hour.” A small plate of something to share can keep things going. The appetizers, like much of the menu items, have an Asian flair, including temptations such as tuna tartare and firecracker spring rolls. But if you’re looking for a weekend experience, Blue is also available after dinner, when lounge music sets the right mood, and dining patrons can go back to the bar for a nightcap. Perfect for a seductive encounter.
If you’re single, a dance studio gives you a built-in opportunity to tango with someone new. And what better way to learn some moves than from a charming dancer?
New York Dance Center
645 Saw Mill River Rd, Ardsley
Many dance studios hold regular parties to help their students build confidence and practice; they are often open to the public and you do not have to dance like Fred or Ginger to have a good time. The dances at this studio may include a Pro-Am showcase, so you can hang back and watch others perform while you gather your courage. This dance center also has its own success story—two single students met here and wound up married. That may inspire you to get your feet moving. Accomplished, award-winning owners Svetlana and Dmitri Ostashkin hold dance parties attracting groups of up to 200 every month or so and serve light refreshments to keep you dancing all night. Call for dates and to purchase tickets.
Dance NY Westchester
565 North State Rd, Briarcliff Manor
Here the dance parties usually have a theme, such as the Rites of Spring, or the especially popular Halloween party. For the dances, there are tables and chairs lining the perimeter of the 1,400-square-foot dance floor, and everyone dances under the light of a chandelier. The merengue waterfall mixer gets everyone dancing with everyone else; men line up on one side, and women on the other. If the numbers are odd, and they usually are, your partner keeps changing. Join a class alone, or bring a friend to the dance. Either way you’ll be sure to dance with someone new. If you want to bring your friends, ask about a group discount before you dance the night away!
You can shop and meet people at the same time. Join a workshop or work your magic solo!
The Apple Store
125 Westchester Ave, White Plains
The Apple Store, known for its sleek design and trendy products, attracts not only techies but a good cross-section of the population. (Remember the lines of people waiting to buy the new iPhone?) As an added bonus, the employees themselves often have those “genius bar” good looks. To begin your search, sign up for one of the free, one-hour workshops offered. It’s a good way to get some info on a new product while you meet new people. Or just hit the store, which is usually busiest in the middle of the day, so go at lunchtime for optimal browsing. You can play with all the iPods and computers while waiting for the perfect person on whom to try the old standby line: “I need a birthday gift for my sister/brother. Can you help me?”
1 Saw Mill River Rd, Hawthorne
150 Midland Ave, Port Chester
601 S Sprain Rd, Yonkers
55 Weyman Ave, New Rochelle
Finding someone who’s good with his or her hands should be no problem at Home Depot. And with several locations across the county, there’s a branch not too far away from you. In such a large store (15 departments), there’s plenty of opportunity to meet someone working on some sort of home-improvement project. Weekend clinics taught by department specialists in various corners of the store gather people to bond over topics like conserving water in your home, or creating an organic garden. You can also find plenty to discuss as you walk down the aisle going about your business. Ask that attractive prospect to help you select the right lighting fixture for your project. Compliment another on her choice of plant, and mention how well it grew in your garden last year. It won’t be long before you’re discussing when you can see each other again!
Places to Bring Your First Date
Romance blossoms in romantic places where you both feel comfortable.
Vintage Restaurant & Bar
171 Main St, White Plains
The menu includes a mix of cuisines to suit any palate, which is useful when you don’t know your date’s preferences yet.
Captain Lawrence Brewing Company
99 Castleton St, Pleasantville
Free tours on Saturday afternoons give you an opportunity to sample beers and tour the brewery. A good activity for alleviating the pressure to make witty conversation.
Crabtree’s Kittle House Restaurant and Inn
11 Kittle Rd, Chappaqua
It’s almost too easy to let romance take over in a room overlooking an English garden, as you savor a bottle of wine.
The Atrium at Doral Arrowwood 975 Anderson Hill Rd, Rye Brook
This is best for a daytime date, which can be easier than a formal dinner date, yet still has all the natural romance that floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking nature can offer. You can even go for a stroll on the 114-acre property afterward.
Neuberger Museum of Art
SUNY Purchase, 735 Anderson Hill Rd, Purchase; (914) 251-6100
View the many exhibits, or call to see when the next Neu Nights Out (the museum’s version of happy hour) is scheduled. Drinks and hors d’oeurves will be served with music, and you can take in the art at the same time.
Kristina Rossi found her last boyfriend while exploring Westchester hotspots, and ended up marrying him.