Bumble’s “Safe Space” Restaurant in New York

The women-focused dating app will open a bricks-and-mortar restaurant that fosters an inclusive space to forge new relationships over shareable plates.

Bumble Brew designed by Float Studio

Bumble initially planned to open Bumble Brew, a restaurant that reflects the women-make-the-first-move dating app’s values and welcomes daters, networkers, and friends, in late 2019. Permitting issues and the coronavirus pandemic had other plans, so the thoroughly branded eatery—a partnership between the tech platform and Pasquale Jones, the Italian pwer-dining room by Delicious Hospitality Group—will now open July 24 in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood in bright yellow, on-trend digs designed by Float Studio. 

Originally equipped with a menu free from messy food that might cause embarrassment at the table, Bumble envisioned the eatery as an ideal spot to take an awkward first date. That mission has since changed, with Julia Smith, Bumble’s head of brand partnerships, now describing the cafe as a “safe space for healthy and equitable relationships and connections” that users likely couldn’t explore fully during lockdown. It nods to Bumble’s core values of kindness, accountability, and respect, as well as the app’s overarching mission to end misogyny and create a kinder internet for women.

Bumble Brew will initially open for breakfast only, but plans to roll out lunch and dinner options in the following weeks. Such date-friendly fare spans Italian and Mediterranean-inspired dishes like morel mushroom omelettes, a dry-aged cheeseburger, grilled baby romaine with green goddess, and other shareable plates created by chef Ryan Hardy. “We’ve always designed our restaurants so that people can connect over delicious food and drinks in a fun and energetic environment,” says Hardy. An “ambitious coffee program” and wines from small producers in classic regions like Burgundy and Eastern Europe will complement the cuisine. 

Eventually, the 80-seat restaurant will play host to branded events like seminars that once took place at the company’s Bumble Hive pop-ups. “As a multi-functional home base in Manhattan, we can envision it as a programming hub,” Smith tells Bloomberg. “We’ll see how [it] goes; this is the testing ground for us. There’s no concrete plans for a second test market, but Austin is our hometown. It could be a market we entertain.” 

Though it’s unclear exactly how Bumble plans to foster a physical “safe space,” more spots that openly advertise kindness and inclusivity are always welcome. Given the app’s recent $2.15 billion IPO, we may see more of them very soon. Bumble Brew also couldn’t arrive at a more opportune time. Founder Whitney Wolfe notes a widespread “pent up demand to socialize, to meet friends, to engage, and to be with people.” Recent data collected by Bumble backs that up: nearly 90 percent of stateside users who selected first-date preferences are ready to meet up in real life again. 

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