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Happy Friday: Here's a good place to find a date

We're proponents of good old-fashioned face-to-face socializing when it comes to finding dates in this town, and in Best of Denver 2011, we noted that Common Grounds is the Best Coffeehouse for Finding a Date. Why? Because there's ample opportunity to mingle.

On Fridays, we're revealing additional spots in Denver that have the right vibe for scoring digits and dinner invitations so you can ditch the sea of online daters for a night in lieu of finding out what the real world holds.

We're fans of activities to help break the ice, especially competitive ones in which many people are participating. And of all the activities that qualify, we're particularly partial to barroom spelling bees, mainly because they're not as team-focused as trivia, so there's plenty of time for mingling between words -- and they tend to draw a smart crowd.

We know of two spelling bees where you might meet a word nerd match: the Spelling Bee(r) at Hanson's Grill & Tavern and the Rock 'n' Roll Spelling Bee at Interstate Kitchen & Bar.

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The Spelling Bee(r), which takes place this Saturday night at 8:30 p.m., provides the possibility of humiliation, as you sign up to spell words out loud. But where there's risk, there's reward: A correctly spelled word earns you a free beer, which you can give to a another speller undoubtedly impressed by your prowess and generosity.

The Rock 'n' Roll Spelling Bee, our Best Night for Word Nerds, is a weekly Monday event at Interstate, where a lively group gathers to imbibe (lightly, since it's a school night for most people), listen to live music and write down a list of words for a chance to win prizes. There are plenty of interludes to allow for conversation, and the winner gets a $10 gift certificate to the restaurant, which, should you nab it, will give you an easy way to suggest a follow-up encounter.

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Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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