Originally published on June 21, 2019, in Washingtonian.
The beer hall describes the event as “Shark Tank, but for your single friends,” a reference to the ABC reality show where entrepreneurs pitch products to a panel of investors. But instead of hawking sponges to Mark Cuban, attendees compile a three-minute PowerPoint presentation touting their eligible friend’s date-worthy qualities, followed by a question-and-answer session.
Franklin Hall managers selected the 12 bachelors and bachelorettes from nearly 90 submissions in a Google Form.
DC resident Olivia Duggan brought the event to the District, influenced by a similar series in Boston called Date My Friend. After seeing friends RSVP to the Boston event on Facebook, Duggan approached Franklin Hall with the idea in April.
Peter Bayne, co-founder of Franklin Hall’s parent restaurant group Tin Shop DC, appreciates that the event takes dating off Tinder and into real life. “I just felt like there’s a little bit of a backlash about the meaninglessness of swiping right these days,” says Bayne.
Haley Keegan submitted college pal Chris Gillespie and put together a slideshow with baby pictures, childhood stories courtesy of his mom, and details about his life in Columbia Heights.
The final presentation is a surprise, but Gillespie feels optimistic about finding his other half. “If I found my wife, I would be forever indebted to Haley,” Gillespie says.
The free event starts tonight at 8 PM at Franklin Hall.
Franklin Hall; 1348 Florida Ave., NW