On Saturday night, as America continued to fight Nazis and Dallas saw its first substantial rain in what felt like decades, Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay and her new fiancé, Bryan Abasolo, were just two gushing lovebirds doing what lovebirds do: stand in an elevated VIP section in a bar surrounded by fellow Bachelor contestants.
To congratulate the new couple, Nikkei, a sushi restaurant-nightclub hybrid, invited Lindsay, a Dallas attorney, her Miami chiropractor fiancé and their friends — who've dated either Lindsay or her ex-boyfriend — out for a night of drinking, dancing and Instagramming.
Nikkei was full of its regular attendees — men looking for bottle service and waitresses wearing birthday suits. But Saturday night brought out fans of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. Two of them, Brett Unell and Elaine Steinfeld, sat in a corner and sipped Champagne.
Unell and Steinfeld were there to see Lindsay. They're big fans of the Bachelor franchise and say they hosted watch parties throughout the season. They say the finale, in which Lindsay tearfully said goodbye to runner-up Peter Kraus, was hard to watch.
“This is my first night out in two years,” Unell says. “We were just sitting at dinner, and I said, ‘Let’s go find Rachel tonight.’”
Steinfeld says she looked on Lindsay’s Instagram and saw she would be at Nikkei.
Around 10 p.m., the entire crowd was inside because of the rain and growing antsy. Unell and Steinfeld were huddled around the window watching for Lindsay.
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At about 10:15 p.m., Steinfeld says, “I think we saw Raven get out of the car.” A few seconds later, Lindsay’s fellow Bachelor contestants, Raven Gates and Kristina Schulman, along with some men, walked into the bar.
About 15 minutes later, Lindsay and Abasolo made their debut. They were ushered to the VIP section, where their 30 closest friends and Lindsay’s family surrounded them with phones. The rest, who were not allowed in the VIP section, watched from afar, phones out, ready for the perfect photo opportunity.
The perfect photo opportunity never came, but some fans brushed shoulders with Gates and former Bachelor contestant Alexis Waters as they went to the bar to get a drink. The women, who were on the same Bachelor season as Lindsay, all hugged Abasolo, welcoming him into the big, incestuous Bachelor family, and congratulated him on the engagement. Abasolo smiled and looked around as if he wasn’t sure what to do or why the hell an engagement party would be in a nightclub. Same, Abasolo. Same.
Congratulations and good luck to the happy couple. We’re rooting for you.