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Single and flying out of Dulles airport anytime soon?

Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny Vino Volo at Gate 3C of the Washington Dulles Airport, pictured early on a Friday afternoon before the evening rush, was listed as the second best airport restaurant in the country for a date by dating site MeetAtTheAirport.com. The website asked its 80,000 members to complete a survey listing their favorite airport restaurants for dating, of which 4,890 members participated. Fast food restaurants were eliminated and Yelp ratings were taken into consideration to come up with the list.
Concourse C’s Vino Volo was recently named the second-best airport bar in the country to find a date. After reading Anna Spiegel’s June article in Washingtonian magazine, on the lounge’s rating by an obscure online dating site, I set out to find out why they made the favorites list.

“Maybe the reason why it's a good place is because we already have the magic,” General Manager Natalie Dippenaar mused.

Dippenaar told me the online user survey was the first they’d heard of the dating site.

“The chicken or the egg, I don’t know what came first,” Dippenaar said. “But I know we’ve always been good at bringing people together.”

The 8-year-old restaurant-bar, Dulles’ first of two locations in the airport, came in second to a bar at LAX called the Encounter.

Interestingly, Vino Volo practices something called “co-seating.” They have the last few United gates as a captive audience, being the only other food outlet besides Potbelly’s and the only bar after Tidewater Landing (Gate C12). If the restaurant fills up, Dippenaar said they ask single-table diners if they can fill the chairs next to them. With delays come a full restaurant, and with wine there is always something to talk about.

“The seating helps people get to talking and at least share ideas,” Dippenaar explained. “A couple did meet here, before my time and rumor has it they got married. They told us the story of re-meeting at Vino Volo and marrying.”

The dining area has a comfortable lounge feel. The chairs are spaced just enough apart for diners to be comfortably anti-social or engage in casual conversation with the nearest person. Along with the bar, a small wine boutique adjacent to the dining room, oversized padded chairs and low tables complete the cozy spot. What better way to kill time at the airport than with a wine flight and small plates on soft chairs?

With a 4.5 star rating on Yelp.com, regulars call it an “oasis.” Besides the airport-specific dating site that gave out the survey, Dippenaar does know of a few dating apps that travelers have used to meet each other at Vino Volo. She also recalled a story about a military couple that got engaged.

“He dropped down on his knee and the whole room went ahhhh,” Dippenaar said. “It was so romantic and the girl kept saying ‘I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it!’”

Heads up California, Vino Volo is opening a location at LAX soon.

“Next year, we’ll give them [LAX] a run for their money with first and second place,” Dippenaar said.

1 Saarinen Circle, Sterling
Concourse C - Gate C3
Hours: Daily 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Phone: 703-661-1999
Airlines: United Airlines
Free Wifi: Yes
Food: Lunch, dinner, small plates

Rebekah Pizana is a food, lifestyle and travel journalist. Her hobbies include food tourism and baking.


4.5 on yelp means nothing. I wonder how many posts were blocked/filtered by they’re genious software that can tell whether you’re a real poster or not. Even after emailing their customer service and posting 20 posts, I still had at least 8 filtered out.. So, probably 5-6 hookups and they get ranked 2nd. I wondered who they polled? What did they consider a hookup?

Wow, that looks like a rather boring bar.  The chairs look horrible.  And where are all the single people in the photo ?  Fail.

Can’t believe people can possibly be in a good move if they are flying United at Terminal C.  United is the worst airline in the USA.

MeetAtTheAirport.com sounds like a one night stand hook up service.

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