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Mike Pomranz
June 22, 2017

Outside of the college bar scene (where every night is a good night to drink), Tuesday and Wednesday evenings used to be the province of world-weary regulars whose dedication to a tipple goes beyond simply hanging out with friends. But according to a recent article in the Chicago Tribune, these harder drinking types might be finding that their quiet weeknights are suddenly becoming more crowded – and the reason behind this uptick would probably elicit an eye-roll faster than hearing someone order a Long Island Iced Tea… dating apps.

Tribune reporter Ally Marotti dropped into a number of Chicago bars to try to better understand the impact Tinder and other dating apps have had on the workday bar scene. At The Barrelhouse Flat, employees said they’ve noticed a significant change since the release of Tinder in 2012. “There are no hard and fast numbers to indicate what percentage of revenue comes from people on first dates,” writes Marotti, “but bar manager Jimmy Hibbard estimates dating apps … drive about 50 percent of sales at the cocktail bar on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.” Apparently wasting a first date on a weekend night is too much commitment, so quick drinks on an otherwise dead night have become a new norm – and bars have reaped the benefits.

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But beyond simply making bars more crowded, some spots told the Tribune that the Tinder crowd has even changed the way staff has to interact with guests. “You treat that regular different ... because you don't want to give away the game," Liz VanLeuwen, director of operations at mini-chain Bangers and Lace's, was quoted as saying, explaining how some people will bring multiple dates to their bar in the same week. “You pretend like this is the first time you've seen them.”

Yes, apparently, thanks to smartphones finding a date has become simpler than in the olden days, but going to a bar has gotten a bit more complicated. I’m not sure if that’s a net gain or not.

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