Mikey's Late Night Slice offers a date night for “horrible people”
What ended your last relationship? A middle-aged man on roller skates? Passive-aggressive Post-It notes? Horrifying laser hair-removal accidents?
That's not a typical conversation for a first date, but then again “Cards Against Humanity Speed Dating” at Mikey's Late Nice Slice Downtown is not typical. Sure, the speed-dating setup is familiar: attendees have a limited amount of time to chat with numerous potential mates. But here it's paired with “a party game for horrible people.”
“You're trying to be as inappropriate as possible,” Mikey's Director of Promotions Heidi Oliver said of Cards Against Humanity, which prompts players to answer questions posed on black cards with silly answers printed on white cards. “It just loosens everyone up and breaks the ice.”
Conceived three years ago by Mikey's co-owner Jason Biundo, the dating event was previously scheduled once a year on Valentine's Day. “It was just one of those random, ‘Let's see if this would work' [ideas], which is how Late Night Slice does everything,” Oliver said.
The series was an immediate success, drawing about 60 people the first year and about 78 the second year. But there were also some challenges.
“There were a lot of gay people across from straight people, and that was difficult,” Oliver said. “It was still fun, but some people came looking for something and they didn't even get that opportunity.”
In response, Mikey's is offering an LGBTQ version of the event, which will take place for the first time on Thursday, March 15. Going forward, Oliver hopes to offer the date night once a month, alternating between LGBTQ and straight audiences.
“We were hesitant about that because we like everyone to be one big family,” Oliver said. “But for the goal of trying to find someone you're into, it makes more sense.”
It also helps ensure a safe space for the LGBTQ community, Oliver said.
Striving to be inclusive of everyone within that community, Oliver is still figuring out logistics. “I believe what I'm gonna end up doing is having name tags that say, ‘I identify as' and then ‘I'm interested in' so maybe that'll break it up a little bit or make things a little more clear,” she said.
To Oliver's knowledge, there haven't been any love connections yet, but plenty of friendships have been made. “On the flip side, we've also had people slam their chairs down and leave because they're not into anybody,” she said.
“I just hope it doesn't lose its novelty,” Oliver continued. “One fear of mine is that six months from now, it's gonna be the same 30 people and they're like, ‘I already went on a date with all these people.' So that's going to test my promotion skills.”