Her fastidious presentation matches the flowery style of the furniture, the plush couches and candle-covered counters. Silver costs ,000 and comes with eight introductions to potential mates. There are few successful Palo Alto engineers who have not received a Facebook-friend request out of the blue from Andersen. While Andersen sees clients of all ages, her business colleague Nina Ericson sees both sexes but has the majority of the older female clients.
Andersen is wearing a black chiffon dress and has her hair up in a formal chignon with blond curly tendrils hanging down in front. Platinum costs ,000 and consists of 11 introductions over two years, plus date-preparation techniques, date coaching, wardrobe advice, and dinner recommendations and reservations. “If it’s an older woman, it helps them to see someone who’s been there,” says Ericson, who has been divorced. O.’s, who can date up a storm, and they are not great at presenting themselves, but they are brilliant.” Most of her male clients have worked on Sand Hill Road or near it for most of their lives and still act like high-school nerds who have no idea what to do with women.
The announcement came in one of her seasonal newsletters, “Dating Confidential,” in 2009.
She counseled the men beforehand to change out of their baggy Palo Alto polo shirts and exercise pants, to dress up, and put their best side forward.
“But to call it Cougar Night to me is far too limiting for what really is the Beautiful People of Silicon Valley taking part in the social scene with the beauty of nature as a backdrop.”It’s Thursday night at the Rosewood and huddles of women wrapped in dresses tight as sausage casings circulate around the lobby. After a drink or two, couples move away from the bar, getting cozy on benches by the fireplaces or under blankets and heat lamps on the deck.
A steady flow of sky-high stilettos and colorful minidresses come in the front door. Many attribute the bar’s crush of singles to area matchmaker Amy Andersen—a self-declared “love concierge” and the founder of Linx Dating—who first helped designate the bar a singles’ destination.
Thursday nights have become surprisingly popular at a five-star Menlo Park hotel.
Ericson—a 50-year-old lawyer turned life coach—goes by the Twitter handle @Dr Date2soulmate and often meets Andersen’s clients at the Rosewood spa café.He has to ask.“Excuse me, why do you have ‘Rosewood’ written on your hand?” Rudolph inquires.“Because, dude,” the barista replies, “my friend told me if I go there on Thursday night I’m guaranteed to get lucky!She expertly navigates the back garden in black stilettos as she explains how her services work. Before she sees them, prospective clients will fill out an initial form describing what they are looking for and what level of service they want. “There has always been that part that is really wealthy, like crazily wealthy They have engineering backgrounds without great social skills,” she says. Like Andersen, Ericson often encounters men who think they can engineer the perfect wife.Andersen says she is now advising about 1,000 clients, many of whom work near or on Sand Hill Road and socialize at the Rosewood. “I have a lot who say, ‘I want a 105-pound Olympian, Ivy League–educated triathlete,’ ” she says.She shares space with a designer friend so her office is not visible to passersby.In the back room, Andersen has set up a full silver tea service with cheese and crackers, apple slices, red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines, and ornate goblets in which to serve them. levels 1 and 2 are price-upon-request services for clients who have long lists of must-haves; in these cases, Andersen does her recruiting on Facebook or in a “nationwide” search. “I can announce as a status update that I am searching on behalf of this client.” She says that, in reading the 13-page applications of the Silicon Valley guys who hire her to meet someone, she finds so many who want Einstein-meets-Heidi Klum (the former being far more plentiful in Palo Alto than the latter) that she has assistants on staff to search social media for any likely possibilities.”Rudolph is dumbfounded—yet aware of what the guy is talking about. Along with the usual lines of luxury cars came a crop of town cars and taxis dropping off ladies of a certain age—Thursday night at the Rosewood is what’s known locally as “Cougar Night.”The hotel doesn’t exactly list it on its official calendar, of course.“There’s no question that we have become one of the regional hot spots for that scene on Thursday nights,” says Rosewood Sand Hill managing director Michael Casey.Surrounded by three of the wealthiest Zip Codes in the country, its high-design interiors and higher-powered happy hours have given a county known for coding a new sense of cool.Halfway to the hotel, Rudolph pulls into Starbucks for his morning coffee.