5 Ideas to Make Memphis…Better: Number 1

Dine Date Discover Second Stop

Dine Date Discover Second Stop

Yesterday I had one of the million ideas I tend to have everyday and I shared it on Facebook. This led to a long dialogue about why I should actually follow through on the idea. I had to explain that I have a thousand ideas like this and this was just me tossing one out there after seeing a post from a former collegiate and professional basketball player that I once covered when I ran my site Center Court Basketball. The way these things typically work is one great conversation leads to another great conversation and more ideas are tossed around. While ideas are great, they are even better if they are placed into action. The person who comes up with the idea however may not be the best person to take on the challenge of bringing the idea to life, and unfortunately a lot of great ideas are never discussed because people don’t want to give away their “million dollar idea”. I tend to think if I came up with one good idea, I can do it again. Optimism is dope, everyone should try it.

With that said I’m going to take the time to build a list that presents 5 ideas I’ve often tossed around, but never really presented to the public. While I’m using Memphis as my base, these are ideas that are easily implemented in any city if a person is willing to really dig in and do the work. Let’s get started.

Shout out to Paul C. Brunson (matchmaker, television host and all around dope dude http://www.paulcbrunson.com/)for inspiring this one. I’m happily married. Since I stopped teaching and I started my own business I’ve learned to love my city for its many options in dining. There are places here that rival any “big” city dining experience. Although I’m married I often run into singles (especially since I used to teach at colleges here in the city and I was always asked about my marriage) who say they just aren’t into the club scene and they have a lot of bad experiences with dating out of the church. Memphis doesn’t have a PCB. We don’t have a local relationship expert who hosts events that are geared towards matchmaking. Cue the drumroll………….. My big idea:

www.dinedatediscovertour.com (NOT A REAL WEBSITE)  Dine, Date Discover is an online website dedicated to Memphians (or insert your city) that allows singles to build profiles on the site. The profiles are then analyzed and then singles are chosen (but not paired) based on similarities and discussions on the online chat board for a monthly Dine-Date-Discovery night (this needs more brainstorming of course). These events are held once a month in conjunction with restaurants in Memphis (once again insert your city). Registration for the site is free. Once a month those people interested can pay to participate in the evening. Dine-Date-Discover will provide pick up at a central location where parking is pre-paid for the members through the fees on the site. The night will consist of 20 singles. Since this is a Discovery Tour each location will be in what I consider the premier locations for singles and dining in the city: Broad Avenue, Pinch District, South Main and Main Street, Overton Square, Cooper Young and eventually Crosstown and of Course Beale Street and the Riverfront. Utilizing these locations will create a tour of the city and introduce singles to places they may not know about. There can be two types of tours (informal and formal).

The first stop on each of these events will allow the 20 singles to talk and feel each other out. This portion will last for 45 minutes. To avoid any awkward silence this portion will involve what is basically a musical chairs type set up. Each single will be allowed to introduce themselves while enjoying a pre dining chocolate and small glass of wine. After the introduction the group can attempt to make a connection. Those who find a pairing can decide to sit next to that person for the remainder of the night. Those who didn’t feel a connection will dine at a large dinner table reserved for the group prior to stopping by.

  • Second Stop: Dine (discussion and dining) Sample location – Rizzos on South Main

The second stop will allow for more discovery and chances for connection. Since Rizzos is a smaller restaurant there will have to be several shared dining tables. During this process if a pairing is not working out from the first stop, they can choose to go back to the shared tables or if the connection feels okay, they can remain together. The second stop on the tour will also include a short walk to a historic location so that all of the people involved can learn a bit more about their city. This walk will end with the a walk back to the tour bus. Any connections created during this time will have the opportunity to remain connected or join the singles group discussion.

As the night begins to draw to a close the participants who have connected will be able to enjoy a flight of desserts. At this point everyone should be feeling slightly better about interacting. Once the dessert is complete everyone will be taken to a nightcap location which will be near the First Stop where the participants can walk back to their cars from the Fourth Stop

  • Fourth Stop: Discover and Date (nightcap and contact exchange) Sample location – Alchemy in Cooper Young

While a love connection on this tour is not the goal, what we hope at www.dinedatediscovertour.com hope is that you were introduced to something new about your city. We hope that this non-traditional night out was engaging and that maybe you met someone that you will want to discover other great restaurants with.

I think this would be an incredible idea for someone to do in the city. With the amount of restaurants you’re talking about 12 months and 12 tours, 120 potential connections. What do you think about #1 on ideas to make Memphis better? Leave your comments below.