Love Note Begets Speed Dating Event | Culture Features | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Love Note Begets Speed Dating Event 

After a grand gesture at Newport Market, two Bend single guys go big to help people find dates

This spring, Ben Capelin thought he made a connection with a woman in the produce section of Newport Market. After failing to connect with her that day, he decided to leave a note at the market, inviting her to meet up another day. While it didn't quite work out as planned, the experience did inspire Capelin and his friend Chi Patel to organize a speed dating event at Silver Moon Brewing on June 15.

click to enlarge Newport Market added a shoutout on its sign in honor of Ben Capelin's efforts to grab a date. From there, Capelin's friend Chi Patel launched a speed dating event to make finding love a bit easier in Bend. - COURTESY CHI PATEL
  • Courtesy Chi Patel
  • Newport Market added a shoutout on its sign in honor of Ben Capelin's efforts to grab a date. From there, Capelin's friend Chi Patel launched a speed dating event to make finding love a bit easier in Bend.

The Source chatted with Patel, the brainchild of this month's speed dating event, about the details of that missed encounter at Newport Market.

Source Weekly: Ben's out of town right now—so tell us about the backstory of this upcoming event.

Chi Patel: So he writes—he's like, you know what? You have beautiful ocean eyes, and you know, I saw you in the produce aisle. I will be back here on Thursday at the 19th hour and ideally, you will be too. So he goes back to Newport Market, the note is not there and he's like, whoa, why isn't it there? But he stays pondering for a bit. And then a young lady comes out that works there and she's like, can I help you? And he's like, well, I'm looking for a note that I put up here. She's like, oh, you put that note? He's like, yeah, so turns out that she's like, all right, follow me. And he's like, oh man. I'm in trouble. Maybe I shouldn't have put that note there. So he goes into the store and sees that it's actually mass printed and posted all around the store.

He's like, well, this is different trouble. I still don't know what's about to happen. So I'll continue walking. And then when he gets to the back of the store, still where customers can walk and stuff, there's a reporter there and she asked him if he would be up for being interviewed and he said, yes, and so he had a quick little interview with her outside of Newport Market.

So he tells me this story and I'm like, man, this is where I come in.

I'm like, no way—that's freaking awesome that you had a reporter do a story on you and your efforts. And then I was like, what's not awesome is that dating in Bend is so freaking tough that grandiose gestures like that don't even work.

And then we just start planning the event. It's going to be a little different than traditional speed dating events—we're going to have team-building activities in the middle. The beginning is like an icebreaker, an opportunity to kind of view your perspective partner, view their cognitive ability; if they have like high stress levels or they have the ability to be jovial—and then from there we're going to cruise into the whole six-minute intervals.

Named the 19th Hour Speed Dating event in honor of Capelin's "19th Hour" note, the event invites local singles to come dressed to impress on Saturday, June 15. If it's successful, Patel hopes to organize more events to make finding love in Bend a bit easier for local singles.

"We try to have a range of events, a little something for everyone," said Angela Moore, marketing magician for Silver Moon Brewing. "It can be a bit awkward meeting people in Central Oregon and The 19th Hour is trying to take some of that awkwardness away, and we think it's pretty cool. Who knows, maybe we'll be hosting a wedding reception down the road!"


The 19th Hour Speed Dating
Wed., June 15, 7pm
Silver Moon Brewing
24 NW Greenwood Ave., Bend
$15/$17
Tickets at bendticket.com

About The Author

Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. While the pandemic reduced "hobbies" to "aspirations," you can mostly find her raising chickens, walking dogs, riding all the bikes and attempting to turn a high desert scrap of land into a permaculture oasis. (Progress: slow.)
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