The Dress Code for This New Restaurant Is Your Birthday Suit
If you've ever had the desire to eat an entire meal in public and be completely naked at the same time well…now's your chance. Just go to Paris and make a reservation at O'naturel.
Yes, that's the actual name and at the 40-seat O'naturel, which opened its doors last week, customers are asked to leave their clothes in the cloakroom and proceed - in all their splendidness - to dine with other clothe-less patrons. The "bistronomic" menu starts around € 39 (about $45) and features vegan dishes, whitch are popular among naturists, and of course a great wine selection. This is Paris, let's not forget.
Don't worry, health officials, the staff are clothed, patrons wear slippers and the seats have disposable covers.
According to two reports last week here and here in Le Parisian, would-be voyeurs on the street won't get a peep show. The establishment sports a "neutral" front, with a heavy blackout curtain and other screens covering the main windows. The entrance is designed to prevent anyone from seeing inside, even when the doors are opened. The establishment received a hearty thumbs up from members of the Association des Naturists de Paris, who were invited to be the very first diners.
The French, being French, aren’t ruffled. In fact, residents in the restaurant's neighborhood are mostly indifferent to its uniqueness. "When we learned what was going to be here, obviously it made us laugh. Especially since there is a nursery next door," one resident who lives above the restaurant said. "But it does not bother me.”
Even though it's early days, things seem to be going pretty well for Mike and Stéphane Saada, the twin-brothers who own the restaurant. The Saada twins are ex-insurance industry executives and, unsurprisingly, ardent naturists. The restaurateurs are hoping to tap into the two-million strong naturist community in France. "We have already had quite a few reservations on the Internet," they said, adding the comments coming in on their website are "very nice."
Lots of people open up restaurants and it’s no secret that many of them fail. It’s a hard and competitive business. Which is why a potential road to success is picking a demographic -- whether it’s vegans, naked people or even lovers of the Golden Girls -- and (of course) serving up good food. In this highly specialized world, many smart business owners I know are zeroing in on a targeted industry and becoming excellent at a particular skill to stand out and profit. So why not excellent food that caters to the community of French naturists?
Oh, and the best thing about O'naturel? Well, in my opinion, it’s that no matter how high the bill is, you’ll never feel like you've lost your shirt.