Bumble Brew: The New In-Person Dating App

Bumble Gets Physical

With 12.3M users active each month, Bumble is the main competitor for Tinder. The dating app initially set itself apart by having the women talk first in heterosexual matches. It then continued to change the game by enabling people to network or make friends, too. They call this Bumble Bizz and Bumble BFF respectively. Now they’re once again pushing the bounds of online dating apps. Bumble Brew, a real-life café and wine bar in New York City, opened July 24th.

Bumble Brew launched in SoHo, in partnership with Pasquale Jones, an Italian restaurant owned by the Delicious Hospitality Group. The venture was initially planned for 2019, but delays with permits got in the way. Then COVID-19 came, and pushed the launch back more and more until they finally opened this summer in NYC. Of course, that required getting creative and opening with some slight modifications to their original plan to adjust for a post-pandemic world. They’re pushing to make it a friendly, communal space for people to come after so long in isolation.

What Is Bumble Brew?

The café and wine bar is designed as a neutral space for people to connect offline. Bumble has experience with in-person service before; in 2017, they hosted pop-ups in several different cities around the world. They ran in New York City, London, Austin, LA and more. Unlike those networking events, Bumble Brew is a date spot for couples to get together. They exclusively serve non-messy, “embarrassment-proof” food for this purpose.

To open business after COVID-19, Bumble Brew had to make several changes to their initial plan. Because of the ongoing labor shortage, they will only offer a breakfast menu to start. Eventually, they’ll open for lunch and then dinner too. If the whole venture succeeds, then the company is considering a second location in Austin, TX. Of course, all of that depends on how well it goes over with the crowd in SoHo first.

All over the country, brands have come up with unique ways to meet their customers’ needs after the global pandemic put them in quarantine for more than a year. This is just one way that the restaurant world is changing, in 2021 and beyond.

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