So Happy Together

Date night inspiration from four couples out on the town.

Kelly Colchin + Jonathan Skaggs

They fell in love as students at UT, then spent nine years in San Fran before moving back to Austin in 2012. Since date nights are a precious few as parents to a toddler, they savor special nights out.

“Like most new(ish) parents we probably don’t get as many nights out as we might like, so we keep the love alive close to home during the week. We have fun grilling in our backyard, opening a bottle of wine and watching a movie, or meeting for a lunchtime yoga class at our favorite studio, Yoga Con Amor. That said, we truly cherish a real date night. When we can get a sitter we head back to the Hotel San Jose bar, hit happy hour at Uchiko, savor a meal outside at Justine’s, or catch a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse. After dinner, it’s fun to take it down a notch at the White Horse Saloon. We are novice two-steppers and there’s always a band playing there. The divey little honkey-tonk is the perfect ending to an evening—they have pool tables, a taco truck for late night, and most importantly, whiskey on tap. You can’t beat that!”

Jonathan Skaggs is a geologist and member of Austin band, My Golden Calf. Kelly Colchin is an art director, artist, and doting mom.


Matt Cook + Lauren Wolf

A writer couple always finds good conversation and delicious food over dinner at their favorite SoCo spot.

“A perfect date night includes a place where we can talk to heart’s content over a delicious dinner, and for us that place is the charm and comfort of Enoteca. The restaurant has a warm, friendly neighborhood vibe, including the people who work there. It’s also kind of our Peach Pit or Central Perk, where we’ll randomly meet up with our friends during the week and stay way too late. We first tried Enoteca this past August when we moved back home to Austin from Los Angeles, and we found it to be immensely romantic because it just felt like ‘home.’ It’s so consistently good, never pretentious, and the kind of place where you can really focus on your company. On date night we stroll there from our home in Travis Heights and often sit at the bar. We’ll share the caprese salad and almost without fail Matt will order the amazing Rigatoni con Polpette, and I usually try one of their specials. An Italian wedding cookie adds the perfect touch of sweetness before we head to Donn’s Depot, where we danced together to “Georgia on My Mind” on our first date six years ago.”

Matt is a screenwriter for film and television. He has multiple projects underway including “Triple Nine,” which has John Hillcoat set to direct, and Casey Affleck, Cate Blanchett, Christoph Waltz, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Michael B. Jordon attached to star. He is also adapting the Vietnam novel “Matterhorn”, by Karl Marlantes, into a screenplay he will direct. Lauren is a writer and researcher. She was most recently the research assistant for Pulitzer-Prize winner, and Austin local, Lawrence Wright’s book, “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief.” She is currently writing a script with actress Nia Long about the inspiring life of the local boxing champion and trainer, Ann Wolfe.


Matt + Jaki Lockwood

Native Austinites and high school sweethearts find time to reconnect on the water.

“Our favorite date night has always been one spent out on Lake Austin. We both grew up spending time out on the lake with our families, so…[the lake] has always been a shared passion: Matt even proposed to me while we were there.

During the summers, our favorite date is usually an early Saturday morning to beat the weekend crowds: a thermos full of coffee, our dog Brooks, and a quick wakeboard/ski session followed by breakfast at Ski Shores or Mozart’s. When the weather starts to get colder, we usually head out on a Friday night all bundled up, pick up our favorite pizza from Little Deli, and grab a great bottle of wine in time to catch the sunset. It’s the place where we can just be truly uninterrupted and finally catch up together from the chaos of the week, where we come up with our best ideas, next adventures, or finally resolve our recent disagreement…If the weather isn’t cooperating, then we usually head to one of our two favorite spots—Home Slice or Enchiladas Y Mas, followed by a quick round of bowling at Dart Bowl.”

Jaki Lockwood is a nurse practitioner at AAOBGYN, and Matt is a project estimator for DPR Construction. They have enjoyed married life together for three and a half years.


Rory McNeill + Gabriel Rodriguez

A happy couple with busy schedules seeks out clever ways to feel like they are on vacation in their own city.

“Perla’s was our first date. It was a beautiful night in Austin and being a Hill Country boy, nothing beats sitting under their big oak trees. We love the quality of food and attention to detail. We are a relaxed couple and enjoy the East Coast beach vibe here. I must confess a big draw is having the ability to walk from our home on Rainey and bring our two pups along with us for brunch or dinner…We love the Grand Platter because they spend a good 20 minutes meticulously preparing a variety of raw and cooked seafood. It is so fresh and beautiful that I will never tire of it. We always pair it with a bottle of crisp French Rose.”

Rory is the founder of ROAR Salon, and Gabriel Rodriguez is a Managing Partner at Empiric Institutional.


Photography by: Andrew Chan

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