Things to Do

Check Out This Shark Tank-Like Dating Event in DC Where People Pitch Their Single Friends

Nothing says romance like a PowerPoint presentation. The event happens tonight at Franklin Hall.

Franklin Hall is hosting an event where people can pitch their friend's Shark Tank-style to suitors. Photograph by Johnny Grave.

The art of romance has turned into the business of wooing thanks to dating resumes and tonight’s Shark Tank-inspired Pitch a Friend event at Franklin Hall off 14th Street.

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 

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Katrina Schmidt
Editorial Fellow

Katrina Schmidt joined Washingtonian as an editorial fellow in 2018. She is from Baltimore, Maryland, and currently lives in Burleith.