What is your distraction technique for eating alone? A strategically placed notebook and pen? A mobile to the ear? Or maybe an open book?
No matter what your strategy, it is clear that there still exists a stigma when it comes to eating alone in public. It is this stigma that Dutch design agency Marina van Goor and branding agency Vandejong were attempting to challenge with their new restaurant, Eenmaal, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The name Eenmaal was inspired by its meaning in Dutch which is both ‘one time’ and ‘one meal’.
“Eenmaal is just like any other excellent restaurant but totally unique in one thing: it only has tables to seat one person. Where you might usually go out to eat with company, at Eenmaal you are your own company. It is the perfect place to dine in pleasant solitude; an exciting experiment for those who never go out for dinner alone and an attractive place to eat for those who already enjoy doing so,” says creator Marina van Goor.
The concept was already tested earlier this year during culinary festival The Rolling Kitchens on the Westergasterrein in Amsterdam.
Originally, the gas was used for street lighting.In 1898, Amsterdam’s city council took over the running of the factory. Production increased and the site was expanded. Later, gas production was gradually reduced as the city council started sourcing more and more of its gas from Hoogovens in IJmuiden and, from 1963, natural gas from Slochteren. The Westergasfabriek ceased gas production gas in 1967.
By the time the factory shut down, the site was heavily polluted, making it difficult to find a new purpose for the area. From 1992, the buildings were used temporarily for creative and cultural activities. It was immediately clear that Westergasfabriek was the ideal location for events such as De Kunstvlaai art fair, the Holland Festival and Awakenings club events. It became the meeting place of choice for creative and innovative Amsterdam residents. The site and the creative buzz around it ultimately led to the area becoming a permanently designated cultural zone. – Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek
This time, however, the concept was turned into a pop-up restaurant on June 28th and June 29th with a four course menu, including drinks, that cost 25 Euros (EUR) per person.
“We wanted to achieve two things with the branding [of Eenmaal]. First, we wanted to entice people to come to the restaurant and at the same time, to give them food for thought. Eenmaal is a brand that is at the heart of today’s society – we wanted to demonstrate that eating in solitude can be a good thing,” says Pjotr de Jong, creative director at Vandejong.
Keep an eye on Eenmaal’s Faceook page for news on when the next edition of the pop-up restaurant will occur.