Should I go on playing bridge and dining, going in the same old monotonous circle? It’s easy that way, but it’s a sort of suicide, too. —Antoinette Perry
Chalk this one up to yet another idea that would be illegal in the United States. Business Insider is reporting that the London restaurant Bunyadi has seen reservations jump from 4,000 on April 20 to a waiting list of over 28,000. The bad news is that not all these people will get in. Ever. The restaurant, which only seats 46 diners at a time, is only scheduled to be open for three months starting in June. A lot of people are going to be disappointed.
Why is this restaurant that is not even open yet so incredibly popular? It allows patrons to dine nude. You don’t have to, of course. If you’re feeling a bit shy or prudish you can sit at the bar with your clothes on. The emphasis, though, is on everything being natural and pure, from the food to the patrons. With both vegan and non-vegan items on the menu, everything is prepared using all natural ingredients and methods (no microwaves), served on clay dishes with edible tableware. Furniture is made of bamboo and the room is lit by candlelight, which is probably a good thing.
The concept is unique and even at a mid-range price of around $30 per person not terribly out of reach for most people. It seems like an idea that might catch on and move to the decadent United States, but it can’t.
You’ve seen the sign in the windows: no shirt, no shoes, no service, right? That’s there for a reason. The US Department of Health long ago figured out that having naked people handling food isn’t exactly the healthiest idea ever born. Any open sores or wounds, scratches or rashes, can potentially carry bacteria which not only contaminates one’s own food but, potentially, the food of everyone around them. Bare feet that have been walking down dirty, dusty roads are the worst, as they bring contaminants in right off the road. There isn’t a county health department anywhere in the US that is going to approve a permit for a restaurant where everyone is naked. Sorry.
Another limitation to the concept of nude dining is that absolutely no photography is allowed. We can understand why. Among those who are lucky enough to actually get into the restaurant, there are almost certainly to be those who would rather not have their wrinkles and bulges and various details spread across the Internet, which is where we all know the pictures would end up. Not to worry, though.
The concept of dining nude isn’t exactly a new one. Four years ago I asked subjects who were part of another project to bring with them something they enjoy eating. While no one brought a three-course meal, and I would hardly consider some of the choices “pure,” we did get pictures of people eating while naked.
While opening a restaurant for naked people may not be possible here, you can always invite folks over to your own house for private dining and be as naked as you are comfortable being. Just be careful when cooking. Those grease splatters can hurt.