The new site DateSpott was inspired by a particularly modern problem: “With the technology-driven world of dating today, it’s easy to find a date,” says co-founder Ronnie Dubbaneh, “but we didn’t think it was easy to find a date idea.”
The site, which officially launched this week, lets you filter date spots by neighborhood or occasion. It currently features places in a handful of Washington neighborhoods, including Dupont, Georgetown, and U Street.
Dubanneh co-founded the site along with his younger brothers Johnny and Danny. When generating content for the site, they started out by brainstorming memorable places where they had personally gone on dates. Next, they crowdsourced ideas for additional places from friends, family, and Reddit users.
Ronnie and Johnny both work as software consultants in DC, while Danny is a research analyst in New York. Outside of their day jobs, they devote much of their free time to developing DateSpott. They say they’re not making any money off it, even though they produce videos for restaurants advertising specials. A lot of those end up on DateSpott’s Instagram.
In the coming months, the brothers hope to add more DC neighborhoods as well as areas of Virginia and Maryland. They also hope to add more places besides restaurants and bars, such as parks and rock climbing centers.
In terms of competition, the brothers aren’t worried. They’re confident that sites like Yelp can’t match their services.
“Our focus is mostly on ambience as opposed to just the food,” Ronnie says. “We think that’s part of the experience you’re getting with a special someone. It’s about how you feel in that place.”
So far, local restaurant owners have largely appreciated the publicity from DateSpott. “I think what they’re trying to do is great. It’s so community-based,” says Rose Previte, owner of Compass Rose.
“We get a lot of dates already,” Previte says. “The bartenders and servers have some funny stories about knowing when people are on Tinder dates. And then we had one couple who got engaged at Table 105, which is where they went on their first date.”