Ah yes -- the blind date. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't.
In addition to always meeting in a public place, I would strongly suggest that each person always have his or her own transportation (not the bus or subway) if possible, so a hasty getaway can be arranged, if necessary. It's just a good idea when both parties are able to leave without depending on someone else to get them home. Makes it safer for everyone.
I might also suggest bringing a friend along, if the date is just for coffee or something similar. Diffuses the tension and reduces expectations.