Remember when a reality show about first dates planned to film in Chicago? Well, they’ve officially started production, with NBC’s “First Dates” filming in Near North Side restaurant MK—the vans were already setting up the restaurant for filming when we drove by on Tuesday. Local foodies were dismayed when Michael Kornick closed down the restaurant for a “private client rental,” and now we know that producer Ellen DeGeneres is to blame. Don’t be too hard on her, though: MK will reopen on August 6.
Based on the hit U.K. series, “First Dates” will let viewers witness real-life first dates in all their authentic, potentially awkward beauty. The show held an open casting, encouraging people to sign up online for a chance at finding their match. Once casting agents whittled down the pool of eligible singles, producers used their applicants’ submissions to divide them into onscreen first-date couples.
The producers-cum-matchmakers certainly had enough material to inform their decision. The lengthy application asks an array of personal questions ranging from “What do you think is your best physical asset?” to “Why do you think you are single?” All of this data, though, can’t indicate romantic chemistry, so expect some dates to go hilariously wrong.
For better or worse, the audience will get some closure after each date. The end of each episode will reveal if the participants want to go out again or call it quits. And for those missing MK, don’t worry—you only have to wait a few weeks longer.