Image: Black Restaurant Week
Inspired by the current dating landscape, HBO Max hosted Love Life Date Night, a four-day series of romantic evenings in celebration of the second season premiere of the hit show ‘Love Life’. In light of Black Restaurant Week, which highlights the flavors of African American, African and Caribbean cuisine, HBO Max partnered with eight Black-owned restaurants across New York, Atlanta, Detroit and Los Angeles, along with the dating app, BLK. Locations of choice included BLVD Bistro and Negril BK in New York; Alta Adams and Post and Beam in Los Angeles; Central Kitchen + Bar, Ivy Kitchen + Cocktail, and Good Times on the Ave in Detroit, and Negril ATL in Atlanta.
A fitting collaboration, HBO Max’s partnership with BLK and local Black-owned establishments allowed the brand to amplify representation and community, while nurturing Black love. Not only that, Love Life Date Night granted real-life navigation through the show’s central theme.
“Season two of ‘Love Life’ captures what it’s really like to navigate the modern dating scene, and especially the role that our identities place when it comes to finding a partner,” said JP Mallo, VP of HBO Max Original Marketing. “We’re excited to support local Black-owned restaurants and work with BLK and Black Restaurant Week to bring fans a unique experience to test the waters and explore the next steps in their own love lives.”
A unique experience for sure. Ivy Kitchen + Cocktail, in Detroit, and Negril ATL, featured a romantic ambiance set by soulful sounds of classic R&B songs, dim lighting and candlelit tablescapes. Not only was the setting beautiful, the food matched the vibe.
My appetizer of choice – collard green spring rolls – followed by my entrée – curried chicken, jasmine rice, and sweet plantains – really hit the spot. I mean, I seriously almost ordered the same thing to go! Kamarria Holland, event coordinator for Negril ATL, said that’s due to the original recipes cooked by Caribbean chefs, which she says makes them “one of the best Black-owned restaurants in Atlanta.”
One look around the intimate dining area and I realized I wasn’t the only patron enjoying their night out. The room consisted of happy diners with flashing smiles, drinks-in-hand, and satisfied tummies. It’s safe to say Love Life Date Night was a success and mirrored what parts of ‘Love Life’ is all about.
“‘Love Life’ season two is centered upon a moment of reinvention as the lead shifts from Anna Kendrick to William Jackson Harper – shining a spotlight on a relatable and rare lead that pushes the genre’s boundaries while still building upon the beloved series’ grounded humor and romance,” Mallo said. “The series leans into elements around connection, friendship and of course, love. We wanted to create an experience where participants are able to walk away with that sense of connection – not only with the series, but with the special someone they are sharing date night with.”
This event connected viewers to the show and their dates indeed, through its curation of custom food and cocktail menus inspired by the series, as well as Love Life-themed conversation cards and Instagram-worthy photo opportunities. I’m glad I was able to share this experience with my partner and enjoy a fun, romantic night out.
The first three episodes of season two of ‘Love Life’ are now streaming on HBO Max, with episodes 4-6 premiering Nov. 4 and final episodes dropping Nov. 11.
Check out the Detroit and Atlanta experience at Love Life Date Night below:
BLAC Atlanta Culture & Lifestyle Contributing Writer, Sierra Allen, considers herself a creative by nature and storyteller at heart. As a Black culture enthusiast, she writes with purpose and passion while highlighting local and national community-centered topics.