The world’s first ‘table-for one’ pop-up restaurant opened its doors for just two days in Amsterdam last week. Eenmaal, offered an intimate experience for lone diners, set in an enticing interior space comprised of crisp whitewashed walls and well-spaced black tables.
As we have previously discussed on this blog, the rise of pop-up shops and eateries during the current economic climate has allowed many businesses to test the market without the initial expenditure – is there a place in our society for this type of dining experience?
Initiator and social designer Marina Van Goor certainly thinks so – although the fleeting nature of Eenmaal suggests that it is more of an arty social experiment than a marketing exercise, as Van Goor explains:
“Eenmaal is a restaurant like any other restaurant, but one thing is totally different: you only find tables for one person here. Eenmaal is an exciting experiment for those who never go out dining alone, as well as an appealing opportunity for those who often eat alone at restaurants”
Dining alone is often perceived as a negative experience as well as being socially demeaning. The Eenmaal experiment is intended to break this taboo and remove the stigma attached to eating solo. Van Goor wants to make the prospect of being alone in a public space more attractive and acceptable. Traditionally, contemporary urban design perceives public space as a place for people to gather and interact, rather than be quiet or reflective on their own.
As is the case with many of these arty urban conceptual experiments, Eenmaal was only open for two days and will be closed again by the time you read this – surely not long enough to be able to ascertain whether it would be a viable business opportunity?
With over a thousand likes on Facebook it would appear that there is a lot of interest for this type of venture – for business people travelling alone, people who want to grab a quick bite and don’t have anyone to catch it with or for people who naturally prefer solitude at mealtimes. Ultimately it could be a place to meet new people, if one is pre-disposed to striking up a conversation with fellow diners.
We’re very interested to see how the project was received by those lucky enough to get a table and whether this is the first of many lone-dining restaurants or just another flash in the pop-up pan.