Dining in the Dark

Dans le Noir?, a company with restaurants in several cities worldwide, is applying for a liquor license for 54-56 Franklin, between Lafayette and Broadway. (Or someone is, seeing as how the company sells franchises.) Dans le Noir?’s gimmick is dining-in-the-dark: “An ante-room allows visitors to enter the restaurant without any intrusion of light. Dans le Noir? has a special security system and clearly indicated emergency exits, which were approved by the Authorities to ensure customers’ safety. The order is made from the lit bar before visitors are lead to the dark room. Guests are advised to come 20 minutes before mealtime so they can enjoy a cocktail, understand the proposed dining concept with a full explanation of the ordering process. Our blind staff serves you as your guides in this completely unknown environment. They will welcome you in the lit area, lead you to the dark room and take care of you to the end of the whole dining experience. They will sit you, serve you food and drinks and most of all make you feel comfortable with the darkness. […] Customers are encouraged to use the toilets before getting into the dark room to avoid any interruption to their experience. No one is allowed to move around in the dining area without a guide’s assistance.”

The website says it’ll open in March 2011, and you can submit your email up for a priority reservation.

I did this sort of thing once years ago, at Suba on the Lower East Side (but the waiters could see, thanks to night-vision goggles). It was fascinating, although it degenerated soon enough into food fights.

UPDATE: The application was later withdrawn.


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