Apr 11, 2023 - Things to Do

A new intimate themed dinner party series aims to help Charlotteans make friends

A new weekly meal-centered event called DishCourse throws small, themed dinner parties at popular restaurants around Charlotte to make it easier for participants to meet new people.

Why it matters: Charlotte is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country.

  • Inevitably, these new arrivals are looking to make friends.

Flashback: Heather Siblik moved to Charlotte nine years ago. She founded DishCourse in February.

  • Siblik, who serves as each dinner’s facilitator, says that DishCourse is also designed for those who are experiencing life changes, like getting divorced or becoming a parent, and are looking for people who can relate.

How it works: The parties take place at hotspots like CO, Town Brewing Company, Barcelona, Bistro La Bon and Haberdish. Dinner themes include New To Charlotte, Starting Over, Club 40+, Must Love Dogs and Women In Business, among others.

  • Attendance is capped at six people to make it easier to connect with other guests on a deeper level, Siblik says
  • Ticket prices for the dinners range from $35-$65, depending on the restaurant and whether you’re planning to eat, drink, or do both.
  • In addition to food and/or drinks, each ticket comes with a gift sourced from local artisans, like a candle from NoDa Candle or CBD-infused cocktail syrups.

What they’re saying: “A lot of times I’m hands-off because the group is just vibing so hard. If it’s a shyer group, I’ll throw out some conversation starters and icebreakers or we’ll play a game to get people talking,” Siblik says.

“I want to be the platform for people who are looking for a new community,” she says.

What’s next: Siblik says she plans to increase the frequency of the dinners in the near future due to demand.

  • Each party has sold out, and they often have a waitlist.

Zoom in: Elizabeth Gamino moved from Seattle recently and tried a New to Charlotte DishCourse party.

  • “I ended up meeting one of my closest Charlotte friends at the dinner. The smaller setting allowed us to really connect and realize that we had a lot in common, versus a larger networking event where you feel like, ‘Oh, I should probably go talk to more people.’ Now we see each other basically every week,” she says.

What’s next: Check DishCourse’s website for upcoming dinner party dates.

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