By Aleksandra Michalska
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bumble, a dating app where women typically initiate the conversation, has created a buzz after launching a pop-up location this month in Manhattan, the first in a series of experiential destinations.
"Bumble is all about making connection with people," said Shaden Abboushi, director of marketing at Bumble.
Abboushi said New York City was an obvious choice for the app's first physical location as many of its 14 million users live in one of the city's five boroughs but she added that the company plans to open other pop-up locations around the country.
"While it's great to be on your phone, and make connections via the app, we want to create a space and an extension of that where people could come and meet in real life, in person."
For the month of June, those eager to experience the pop-up lounge dubbed "BumbleHiveNYC" were asked to show to the bouncer at the door proof of having installed the dating app on their phones.
If they successfully identified themselves as users, they were invited into the modernly decorated, yellow and white space for free to mingle over complimentary drinks and snacks and dance to music provided by live DJs. Most visitors were in their 20s.
"I think it's a great way for people to connect in New York City," said Liz Marschall, a New York City resident who came to the Hive on a recent Sunday wearing a white tank-top, jean shorts and heels.
"It can be really difficult, living here and meeting people, even at bars, because there are so many people... When you come here, everyone has a really similar interest in mind," she added.
Surrounded by a group of his friends, Alex Camy, who moved to Manhattan's Upper West Side three months ago from New Jersey, said he would give the pop-up location "a 10 out of 10."
"I mean, they provide rose, that's a plus to begin with," Camy said, sporting a bright red jersey.
"But they're really reaching all the goals of having a successful popup place where people meet more people, have good experiences while doing that, and, you know, have something really fun that comes out of it."
(Reporting by Aleksandra Michalska in New York; Editing by Sandra Maler)