While going out to dinner often brings new experiences, for most, the evening nearly always involves engaging with one’s visual surroundings.
Not so in French restaurant chain Dans Le Noir, where patrons head out for an experience of groping, wine spilling, and “surprise” meals in sheer darkness.
Here you’ll be served by blind waiters and handed wine lists in Braille, while conversations such as “I’m propping my plate on my boobs so I don’t spill any” are allegedly the norm.
In a place of such culinary chance, where one can only hope they’re not eating pigs’ balls or that the waiter doesn’t stick a knife in their eye, many have wondered, why such popularity?
Besides the obvious novel experience, patrons, according to the Times of India, are keen to discover what it’s like to be blind, while learning how the blind skillfully adapt to their surroundings.
The chain’s founder, Edouard de Broglie, says “I wanted to show that a company where 50% of staff are very heavily handicapped can perfectly well be profitable, thrive each year and become international like any other one”.
While not the first of its kind, the honours going to German outfit Blindekuh (blind cow) back in 1999, Dans Le Noir (French for ‘in the dark’) has become the most successful, delighting patrons in Paris, London, Moscow, Barcelona and St Petersburg.
Now it’s set to spread its dark forces across the Atlantic, where New Yorkers will join the growing throng of sightless scoffers around the world.
However Dans Le Noir isn’t about them. It’s really about the blind who are leading the blind.
For here’s a sanctuary where the less fortunate members of society can finally flout the rules, by wearing their birthday suits to work, by groping the best smelling customers, and by giving pigs’ balls to the rude ones, all while getting paid for it.