LAKE STEVENS — Here’s your chance for a possible hookup with Mr. Right without swiping right.
Old-school face-to-face speed dating is back.
Meatheads Smokehouse and Beer Works is having the first of two speed dating events on Wednesday.
“Hopefully something happens. Worst case, you can meet some new people,” Meatheads owner Kory Dyer said.
Meatheads, 8928 Vernon Road, is a popular watering hole that serves up barbecue. Dozens of regulars have their own beer mug hanging on the wall by their name.
“We do a lot of different events. We do trivia, bingo, all kinds of stuff,” Dyer said.
The event room upstairs has enough tables for 34 singles — 17 men and 17 women — who have 5 minutes to look in each other’s eyes and find a spark.
Dyer said the dating event stemmed from a Lake Stevens community Facebook page, where a woman had posted about a missed connection. She wanted to find a man she briefly encountered at a shop.
“The whole community loved it,” Dyer said. “He saw the post and he reached out to her and said he was flirting with her and they planned a date.”
A customer suggested Meatheads offer speed dating.
“I got a lot of responses from people saying, ‘I’m totally in,’” he said. “I’m a big proponent of shooting your shot. If you see somebody you think is cute, shoot your shot, go for it.”
Speed dating was popularized by a rabbi in 1998 at a coffeehouse for single men and women to switch partners and spark up a conversation with the next stranger. The format spread to bars, colleges and libraries but fizzled out with online and app dating. It was revived a bit during the pandemic by Zoom.
Dyer said he studied up on how to do the event. The women stay put and the men move to the next table. He will go over the score sheets at the end. If the feelings are mutual, he’ll connect the two to date or be friends.
The event starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday. A second speed dating event is Dec. 27.
Both are for male-female relationships for ages 25 to 45.
“There’s been a lot of people asking for 45 to 55-plus and LGBTQ,” Dyer said. “If these two go well, we’ll do other age ranges and orientations.”