One of life’s greatest pleasures is food. Meals prepared with care and skill can literally be memorable for a lifetime. What also adds to the experience is the ambience of the space in which those foods are eaten. Mere furnishings and soft music don’t hold a candle to some of the most exotic restaurants around the globe.
The past few years, restaurant explorers have been privy to eateries such as Ithaa, which is enclosed in a tunnel under water in the Maldives; Kakslauttanen, which has dining tables set inside a veritable igloo in Finland; and El Diablo, where specialties are grilled to perfection on top of a volcano in Spain. Opening for three months this year in London, however, is a new, “raw” conceptual restaurant experience—dining in the nude.
The new venue is called The Bunyadi. The environment boasts “bareness”; there will be no electricity, gas, chemicals, or artificial colors. And, no phones allowed. Additionally, the restaurant’s press release states there will be, “wood-flame grilled meals served on handmade clay crockery and edible cutlery, in a space void of the industrialized-world’s modern trappings.”
The company, Lollipop, (who opened ABQ, a popular cocktail bar that serves drinks inspired by the show Breaking Bad,) has created this bare-bones concept that holds 42 diners. One section will be reserved for those patrons who chose to remain clothed. The other half of the space, partitioned by bamboo and candlelight, is for those wishing to dine naked. Changing rooms and lockers will be available for the “naturalists.” Meals will run about $85 per person, which will include food and drinks.
Is this really a new concept? Seemingly so, since a pro-naked choice eatery hasn’t been publicized (or legal), at least in the past two centuries. Or is it just bringing us back to a time where feasting, minus-the-toga, was a grand part of life, reminding us that all we truly need to survive is shelter and food? Whatever the meaning for its appeal, The Bunyadi already has diners—thousands—clamoring for a seat. Yahoo news reported that 6,500 people are already on the waiting list, whereas NPR reported that the restaurant’s operators claim there are 8,000 on the wait list to date. If you don’t make the cut, pretending at home may your second best choice.