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Single and flying out of Dulles airport anytime soon?

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.

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Mystic Maggie

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