A Restaurant Designed For Eating Alone

A few weeks ago on a road trip through Maine, I found myself in a diner-y lunch place along the water. We sat in a booth way in the back, next to a window that overlooked the bay and a WATER WHEEL (watermill? quaint water-moving thing?). The view was almost as beautiful as the lobster roll (pictured).

We’d sat down right before the place closed for the afternoon, and were basking in our good luck and mayonnaise-based sandwichery when I looked to my left and heard angels singing (not pictured). There it was: a half booth, facing the window. Yes kind of like a window ledge but it was an actual, comfortable table with a booth seat, not some dumb barstool. On the table was an open book and a plate of fries. Outside the window: coastal Maine.

You know what, I think I just figured out my “happy place” visualization for childbirth. Please note the lack of other people.

Anyway, this Dutch restaurant featured in Businessweek will probably not be as cool, but I support the cause. It is called Eenmaal, and it is an entire restaurant filled with tables for one:

“The taste of persons eating alone seems different, and even more intense, according to our guests,” says Marina van Goor, owner of the temporary eatery, which is called Eenmaal. As such, the chef takes care to serve four-course meals (at a moderate €35, or roughly $48, including drink) prepared from quality local and organic ingredients. Even the interior is left intentionally raw and no-frills, to emphasize the simple pleasure of unapologetically eating alone.

Don’t expect to fill the void with social media—Eenmaal doesn’t offer Wi-Fi. “I wanted to show that a moment of disconnection, by eating out alone, sitting alone, can be attractive, especially in our hyperconnected society,” van Goor says. Instead, diners are encouraged to read physical magazines and books.



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