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The Place to Say 'Ahoy, Dreamboat!'


Tommy the Matchmaker with friends in the Yacht Club's heyday. (Steve King)

The Yacht Club is back -- for the occasional three-hour cruise.

The singles bar for the old and restless is returning to Bethesda next month at the Doubletree Hotel, the same place that housed the club for 17 years. The hotel's Great Room will become "Yacht Club II" once a month -- same DJ, music, dress code, patrons and shtick from host Tommy "The Matchmaker" Curtis.

"There's a lot of joy in Bethesda-ville," he told us yesterday. "Mighty Tommy is back."

Irrepressible, as always, but 20 years older -- just like his regulars. In its heyday, the Yacht Club was the spot for 35-plus singles to strut their stuff -- you might have run into a congressman or TV anchor. Curtis boasts that 200 couples met and married after an introduction under the dim lights.

Of course, that was before Web sites dominated the dating game. So we have to ask: Who wants to hang out in a bar trolling for middle-aged singles? More than a few people, it seems; even after the club closed in 2006 due to building renovations, the hotel kept getting calls for it. "The one thing that I have found is people still, no matter what they say, love the ability to see each other," said Curtis. "There's nothing that replaces that immediate feedback."

So the hotel tried three Yacht Club events last year. "We had 250 to 300 people show up," said General Manager Michael McMahon. "It was like a reunion. A lot of the same faces." That convinced him that a monthly party, with Curtis on deck, could make money on its otherwise slow weekends.

Opening night is May 16 (with a hefty cover of $27) and sales are brisk, Curtis told us.

By The Reliable Source  |  April 28, 2009; 1:04 AM ET
 
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