I live a block from a mini-mart which I visit frequently. The proprietors are all Korean, and I see the guy that works evenings almost every day either inside the store or while walking by.
Recently, an Asian fast food restaurant opened a couple of blocks down. One of the cooks there is also Korean, and he and Mini-Mart Guy have started hanging out together - I’ll often see the one visiting the other’s business, just chatting.
Well, when they realized they both knew me they thought it was the funniest thing ever. Now they both call me by name when I enter their stores, etc. I tend to be pretty well-known and generally liked at businesses I frequent because I’m generally friendly and not a PITA to deal with. So I am totally cool with this - I think it’s funny too.
This afternoon I popped into the mini-mart and as I was leaving, MMG followed me outside and asked if I’d ever had Korean food. I said no, and he invited me to go out with him and RG on Saturday night to a Korean place in town. I gave a sort of noncommittal answer.
Tonight I stopped in the store on the way home, and both of them were there. MMG said, “Meet us at 11:30 at his restaurant and we’ll take you to Good Restaurant and buy you dinner on us!” He even asked whether I wanted meat or fish, because he has to make a reservation.
Now, both of these guys, while not old enough to be my dad maybe, are definitely older than me. I’m not getting a sleazy/creepy vibe off them, really, and the restaurant we’re going to is within (long) walking distance from my house should things go weird. On the other hand, I don’t generally accept dinner invitations from people I’ve only dealt with in a “business” sense. (Can y’all tell I don’t date much?)
I’m pretty sure I’m being overly paranoid and there’s no harm in letting them buy me dinner; I’m pretty sure that they just realize I like Asian food and want to give me…guidance, maybe, eating their particular cuisine. But maybe I’m missing something. So - go to dinner for the new experience and don’t worry about it? Or rethink and possibly beg off?