Let’s Do Lunch (or Dinner, or Drinks)

A guide to schmoozing in four cities that are starting to make their dot on the map.


Most people know where the hot spots are in Silicon Valley and in the Alley, but what if you’re an up-and-coming tech city where the scene is still evolving? If you’re trying to figure out where to cut a deal, hobnob with other techies, or just be scene in the right crowd, we offer a guide to schmoozing in four cities that are starting to make their dot on the map.

City Hot Spot The Scene What to Order
Portland, Oregon McMenamins Pub
2927 SW Cedar Hills Boulevard,
T-shirts and jeans — and ID badges from nearby IBM/Sequent, Intel, and Tektronix. It’s primarily a place to network with colleagues over a microbrew, but you never can tell which dotcom exec might show up. A pitcher of Terminator, a McMenamins stout.
Minneapolis, Minnesota The Lounge
411 Second Avenue N.,
Downtown Minneapolis, Warehouse District
A hangout for the Geek Squad, the Lounge also attracts its share of beautiful people. Just ignore them. This is where deals are cut and connections are made (and Prince has a VIP booth in the back). A martini, of course. The Lounge won the award for best martini in the Twin Cities three years ago.
San Diego, California Donovan’s Steak & Chop House
4340 La Jolla Village Drive,
La Jolla
Techies beware: You’re not going to find a swarm of coders here. But if you’re meeting with tech millionaires or VCs — or if you just want to bask in their glow — this is the place to see and be seen. What else but a juicy steak? Donovan’s offers six cuts, as well as pork, veal chops, salmon, and lobster. Since Donovan’s is also known as the place to close a deal, you might want to order a glass of bubbly.
Stockholm, Sweden Sturehof, at Stureplan Anyone with Net sense (including the founders of Icon Medialab and Razorfish Spray) has offices in this high-rent district. The outdoor tables are the place to table-hop with Stockholm’s movers and shakers. One of the house specialties is sotare, baltic herring with dill potatoes. And like just about everywhere else in Sweden, mineral water is the norm. Favored brand? Ramlösa, natch.