After having my own outing for drinks with a cutie the day prior, he brought up an interesting idea, and after hearing about my friend's future date, I had to wonder if he was right...
Are drinks the new coffee?
After throwing around the question to the group, we came to a general consensus that drinks are not the new coffee... Instead drinks are the mature and 'responsible' version of coffee. It's essentially a no pressure way for two people to get together without the worry that he wont like the restaurant I pick. It gives you the opportunity to get to know a person's likes and dislikes before you take a vegetarian to Longhorn Steakhouse.
Coffee is the under-21 age group's answer to drinks. Odds are before Starbucks, the "hey let's go out for a coffee," wasn't exactly an option unless you were headed to the local Mickey-Ds, and let's be real, no one wants to bring a date out to McDonalds. The under-21s are attempting to fill in a hole in their journey to adulthood. Most young adults aren't touting boatloads of cash and if they meet a potential significant other their options are few and far between... the respectable coffee or the disgraceful 'moviemance.'
I'm not talking you hit 21 and immediately guys start saying, "hey let's grab a round." It's a right of passage that comes with growing older... there's no set age. It's just something that happens naturally from going out and meeting new people, who are interested in the comfort of the social lubricant.
And who knows, maybe soon DC will soon sprout the all mighty bar/coffee houses, which are greatly popular in Austin, Texas where the coffee house scene mingles with the hip beat of the intimate live music scene, but until they do, the over-21 crowd will probably just hit a bar.