Meeting people online in Prague isn’t difficult especially when expat life — with its many dedicated Facebook groups — increasingly takes place in cyberspace.
But for Dana Micková, a Prague-based entrepreneur, the virtual world can also get lonely. To that end, Ms. Micková has established the Single Friends’ Club (SFC) which recently opened a members-only space in Malá Strana, the city’s most romantic quarter.
“As a result of this lifestyle, many people are alone and losing contact with other humans. We want to help these people to have a stress-free way to contact other people just for a friendly face-to-face chat or to develop a sincere friendship within the group,” says Ms. Micková.
The inviting club room, with its historic-apartment vibe, is located just below Prague Castle and surrounded by a Baroque-style garden. It’s intended to offer singles visiting the Czech capital a safe, relaxed, and, above all, offline chance to socialize.
“I came to the idea of connecting single people around the world by being single and feeling lonely for a long time by myself. I would not go out or travel alone because I didn’t enjoy it,” she says of her inspiration to create a network of single people.
Micková’s business could be described as the anti-Tinder.
Members photos and personal details aren’t searched for, filtered, or browsed online. Members simply head to the club room (if you’re an out-of-towner) or, for locals, any of the participating cafes or restaurants, sporting a SFC pin that’s worn as an invitation to simply chat.
While the club is geared toward all kinds of relationships — sincere friendship, travel companionship, true love, or just friendly conversation when loneliness strikes — random hookups are not part of the experience, stresses Micková.
“The club room is considered a place for members who want to relax for a while in a nice, welcoming atmosphere, have a drink and a bite, and just use it as a meeting point,” she says, adding that she wants members to enjoy local hospitality without stressing over where to meet.
Singles who sign up for the club are given a list of venues that support the initiative as well as included on a mailing list for parties and events. A pin with the SFC insignia, meant to be worn in places that bear the SFC sticker on the door, is also issued upon registration.
In Prague, those places currently include Cafe de Paris, a venerable Malá Strana institution serving French bistro classics, which is offering club members a free welcome drink or dessert.
Tbilisi Restaurant, a family-run Georgian eatery below Prague Castle also offers a 10-percent discount to club members.
While the Single Friends’ Club is currently in the early stages, membership is growing. Ms. Micková, a frequent traveler herself, hopes to eventually bring her project to a wider audience by offering accommodation to incoming international club members as well as unique experiences such as farm stays.
“I want lonely people to be able to enjoy life again, to become part of a big community of single people around the world who are alone for any number of reasons,” says Ms. Micková who is on the lookout for partner businesses who’d like to join her efforts to give single folks true companionship and memorable experiences in an online age.
For more information on club fees and offers, please visit www.singlefriendsclub.com