By Jefferson and Ammie Bryant
One of the perils many couples make when planning a date night is trying too hard. You don’t necessarily need an elaborate, multi-tiered evening getaway to help rejuvenate your spirits, sometimes all you need is a few hours away alone together.
Stillwater is certainly no metropolis, that is one of its biggest benefits, but that can sometimes have a few drawbacks. One of which is a perception that a romantic or fun evening out is hard to find. To help dispel that myth, we have compiled a few date night ideas that might help inspire you and your partner to enjoy a night on the town.
If you have not taken a trip down Main Street south of 6th, then you may not realize that Stillwater’s downtown is bustling with great places to eat and drink and things to do besides many great shopping options. There are quite a few excellent eateries and hangouts, much more than just five years ago. Everything from dining to bars to paint and bicycles can be found in Downtown Stillwater.
Kick off your Downtown experience with Plaster Paint. Bring in an old yard sale table, chair, or even the doors to your cupboard, and spend some time with your significant other experimenting with different colors and texture, turning that old piece of furniture or junk into a shabby chic work of art. They offer classes or you can set up your own special visit. This is a sure-fire way to kick off a fun evening.
Downtown Date Night continues at one of the higher-end foodie spots, Tokyo Pot which is located just around the corner of 10th Avenue and Main. Reminiscent of the 70s Fondue craze, Tokyo Pot offers Shabu-Shabu dining, which means you cook your own food in two different flavors of broth right at the table. The intimate setting will inspire romance and fun, no doubt heightened with Sake and Sapporo.
When the dining is done, your downtown delights are not over. Stroll back up Main to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for some fine chocolates or pop into Finnegan’s for a night cap. When your tummy is full, and you have had your fill, take a walk down Main Street, arm in arm. A relaxing evening on the town is always good for the soul of any relationship.
Old Reliable- Dinner and a movie
It may be a cliché, but there is no date night theme more timeless than dinner and a movie. Whether it is your first date or you have been married for 50 years, a good talkie and some grub may satisfy your relationship with sharing a good movie together.
When it comes to dining in Stillwater in preparation for a feature film, Nagoya located on the north end of the Lakeview Pointe Shopping Center on the north end of Perkins Road is one of our favorites. A hot meal, cooked to order right in front of your eyes with a show of flippity-flopping knives and twirling spatulae, not to mention the fantastic spectacle of fire, how can dinner get any better? Go for the triple-threat combo- shrimp, chicken, and steak, medium rare of course. But if your significant other isn’t into the Japanese fair, check out DaVinci’s conveniently located next door to Nagoya. When we are craving authentic Italian cuisine we love this local eatery where the owners are often on site and the garlic knot rolls are to die for. Pro-tip: get the Olive oil, basil, and garlic dipping sauce for the bread. It’s our favorite.
After dinner, pop on over to the Carmike Cinema for your film of choice. Don’t forget the popcorn, nothing tops off classical Japanese cuisine–or Italian–like some buttery, salty popcorn.
Lively Entertainment- Comedy
What is love without laughter? Get your fill of both with an evening at LOL Comedy Club located at the Holiday Inn on the west end of town. After the closing of the previous comedy club in town, Pepper and Phil Keeling thought Stillwater was missing out. So they did their homework and struck a deal with Holiday Inn to serve as the venue for the shows. Right now, shows are offered once a month, so you need to check their schedule at stillwatercomedy.com. With different nationally-known comedians every show, the jokes are sure to bust your gut. As interest grows and attendance rises, the Keelings hope to add shows and maybe even offer an amateur night.
What about dinner? Make a reservation for a table at LOL Comedy Club an hour ahead of showtime (arrive 1 hr before, not make the reservation itself) and you can order dinner from a full menu before the laughing begins.
The February shows are scheduled for Friday, February 12 and Saturday, February 13 with shows at 7pm and 9:30pm. The feature comedian is Michael Suarez and the headliner is Quinn Dahle.
Mike Suarez is a South Texas native and fast rising newcomer to the comedy scene. His unique take on marriage and body image celebrates the lighter side of love and pain. He’s worked with such names as Bruce Bruce, Rob Schneider, and Jo Koy, performing at clubs across Texas; he’s a favorite wherever he goes.
With appearances on The Tonight Show, Showtime, Comedy Central, Lopez Tonight, and Carson Daly, Quinn is a smart and witty stand-up comic with impeccable timing. He has worked with such names as Robin Williams, Drew Carey, Tim Allen, Dane Cook, Dana Carvey, Norm McDonald, Jon Lovitz, Bill Maher, Frank Caliendo, David Alan Grier, John Witherspoon, Tommy Chong, John Pinette and Harland Williams. Quinn’s comedy appeals to all age groups and ethnicities and he loves to talk about them all.
Wrap up the evening with a visit to Gatsby in Fountain Square at 1415 S. Western Road. Gatsby is a modern day 1920s style speakeasy where they specialize in 1920s classic cocktails, craft beers, and a healthy wine selection. We hear the moscow mule, old fashioned, and Baby Buchanan are crowd favorites. Gatsby often has live music too, so it is a great place for a nightcap after an evening of food and laughter.
The Old College Try
Thousands of college kids can’t be wrong. Start your evening at The Original Hideaway, a classic Stillwater staple with an intimate atmosphere that is absolutely, irreplaceably Stillwater. Located on the southeast side of the OSU Campus at 230 S. Knoblock, the Hideaway has long been a local favorite since it opened as only the second pizzeria in the state of Oklahoma in 1957! With appetizers like their fried mushrooms, mozzarella sticks, smoked gouda cheese and macaroni bites, and cheese bread, we see why. In addition to the amazing pizzas (hello Big Country!) they also have pasta, sandwiches, and salads. You just can’t go wrong with The Original Hideaway on date night.
After filling up on all that ooey-gooey goodness at The Hideaway, walk on over to campus and meander across the beautiful lawns to the formal gardens on the west side of the Student Union. Then, cuddle up on a bench at Theta Pond. It’s a beautiful spot and the perfect place to walk off dinner while talking with that special someone. Take some pictures, feed the ducks, and then wander back towards knoblock where you can share an ice cream at Marble Slab across from the Hideaway.
Arts & Culture
Stillwater has great options for those who enjoy the arts and culture scene. There’s the OSU Allied Arts program bringing in top-notch national performers and as well as the OSU Theater program. We also have our own home-grown talent at Town and Gown Theatre. There are a myriad of musical options. From classical to contemporary, Stillwater has many entertainment options and is blessed with an abundance of talent. Rarely does a month go by in Stillwater without the chance to see a great theatrical or musical performance.
Start your day with an afternoon strolling the exhibit galleries at the OSU Museum of Art and the Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History before settling on your evening’s entertainment. Located at the corner of 8th and Husband in the historic Postal Plaza, OSU Museum of Art has an outstanding collection of art that ranges from local to international. Their exhibits change often so there is always something new to see.
You don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate Stillwater’s local history, showcased at the Sheerar Museum of Stillwater History. The Sheerar is located right around the block from the OSU Museum of Art on the corner of 7th and Duncan. The longer term exhibits highlight the history of Stillwater based on topics from prehistory and the founding of Stillwater to business, agriculture, transportation, and education history; you are sure to learn something new about our amazing community. The Sheerar Museum also features new exhibits which change about every six months or so. Currently on exhibit is “Stories Unfolding: A 30th Anniversary Celebration” which tells the thirty year history of Stillwater’s sister-city relationship with Kameoka, Japan. Coming in March, is a new exhibit that looks at life in 1920s Stillwater.
After visiting these great museums, plan to attend a play. In February, Town and Gown Theatre is presenting a hilarious comedy Always a Bridesmaid. We had the chance to sit in on early rehearsals and we can’t wait for opening night. The production is set to run February 11-14 and February 18-21. We’ve got a great article all about what you can expect with this production in this issue. Don’t miss it! There are two more productions before the end of Town and Gown’s 65th season that you will want to keep an eye out for too. In April, Town and Gown will present The Great Gatsby and then they wrap up the season in June with Into the Woods. They’ve really outdone themselves with the lineup of plays and musicals this year.
We hope we have given you a bit of inspiration for your next date night out in Stillwater.