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How to take your main squeeze on a cheap date and not get caught doing it

click to enlarge Borracho Tacos - SARAH WURTZ
  • Sarah Wurtz
  • Borracho Tacos

Dating is expensive. Actually, dates themselves are expensive, at least if you want to do them somewhat fashionably. If your gal or guy is down with a hike, PBJs and a covert bottle of 2013 Charles Shaw Merlot in the park, more power to you. But sometimes people just want to go on a date. Or as it's been told to me, "a date date."

Here's a plan for a night in just one Spokane neighborhood.

The Main Avenue Delight:

5 pm Friday Tell your date you want to get an early start because you want to beat the crowds. Or the babysitter was cheaper this way. Or you want to make sure you see the sunset. Whatever. Just make it sound good as to why you're heading out to SARANAC PUBLIC HOUSE so damn early. Enjoy Saranac's happy hour (Mon-Fri, 3-6 pm and 9 pm to close; Sat, 11 am-5 pm; all day Sunday), with $2 domestic bottles, $3.50 micro pints, $4 wines and more. You can make it dinner, if you need to, with the chicken quesadilla ($6), the flatbread ($6) or a soft pretzel ($4).

6:15 pm: Tell your date that you got the two of you tickets to a movie at the Magic Lantern movie theater next door. Don't ask if he or she wants to go to a movie; just say you got the tickets, because that shows you thought this whole thing through. First, though, how about another drink? It's across the street and down the block to BORRACHO TACOS AND TEQUILERIA. Order drinks, feast on chips and salsa, and, best of all, if those appetizers across the street left you with room to fill, dine on their street-style tacos.

7:15 pm: Decide the movie can wait: Again, initiative. Saunter down to BOOTS BAKERY AND LOUNGE. If you've got the cash left, you could make a pit stop at Zola for a cocktail, especially if you're ahead of schedule and can make it before happy hour ends at 7 pm. But make sure you're at Boots before they close at 10 pm (FYI: they close at 6 pm during the week). There, you can get dessert, like a cupcake or brownie or whatever your date's sweet tooth (and heart) desires. If you're still feeling like drinks, Boots does that, too. They've got a full bar and a knack for making creative cocktails.

8 pm: Go to the late show at the Magic Lantern, if you're in the mood for it. Or maybe you can get that sunset walk in after all. ♦

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