In Japan, there’s Kurayami Gohan. In Switzerland, there’s Blindekuh. In the United States, there’s Opaque.
It’s not a unique idea, having your customers dining in total darkness. It is however, a most unique experience. And at Opaque they take it to the extreme.
First off, the price. everything is in a set meal, starting at 99$, earning them a maximum four $ signs on Yelp. The place is only open from Thursdays to Saturdays. However, if so inclined, the restaurant is willing to recreate the dining in total darkness experience at any location in the world for events hosting up to 450 people! While it may sound like idle boast, they’ve actually done it for several notable companies, including Disney, Columbia pictures, and many charities that promote blindness awareness. Their entire waitering staff is also comprised of blind people, lending authentication to the experience, as opposed to most restaurants that either allow their staff to wear infrared goggles or ask the customer to wear blindfolds.
Reviews of the experience has been mixed.
Some customers seem to enjoy the entire experience, lauding everything from the food to the ambience. Some however, claim to have been totally creeped out by their service, speculating that the waiter was always closer to them than they thought, perhaps even seated at the same table while they were dining in total darkness. The lack of variety of the food has also been a point of contention for many clients. Though it is said that sight deprivation is supposed to make a person’s other sense more acute, many customers have complained that they found their food to be much less enjoyable because they were unable to connect it to a visible feature. These complaints are still among the minority however. Most customers claim the experience to be nothing like anything they’ve ever experienced before, with a healthy mix of fear included to spice it up. Many recommend it as a perfect spot for a date, with customers who did so typically giving it a higher rating. Guess love really does shine brighter in the dark. Just be ready to give up a hefty chunk of change while wondering who/what it was that kept brushing against your leg…
(Hint: who’s the only one who can see in the dark?)