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At This New Dutch Pop-Up, the Cool Kids Eat Alone

By Christine Ajudua


From the March/April 2016 issue

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Courtesy of Eenmaal

Table for one, please

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We’ve all been there: sitting at restaurant alone, feeling out of place. “To be alone in a restaurant often looks and feels somewhat sad,” says Marina van Goor, founder of Amsterdam’s design firm MVGCA. “I wanted to create an attractive place where eating out alone is accepted and even cool.”

So she launched Eenmaal, the world’s first pop-up restaurant for solo diners, which serves seasonal four-course menus with natural wine pairings (all for about $40). Here, at your own personal table, there’s no chance of being pressured into ordering something you don’t actually want —or sharing something you do want—and, as van Goor said, “Since everybody sits alone, it is not awkward.”

On the flip side, you can forget about eavesdropping for entertainment, and as much as we appreciate the notebooks for doodling, those desklike tables might remind you of grade school (or worse, the office). Still, almost every Eenmaal pop-up thus far—in Amsterdam, Antwerp, London—has sold out, and permanent locations in Asia and the United States are on the horizon. Van Goor even teamed up with France’s Bauchet champagne house to release single-serve bottles of bubbly to celebrate solo “moments of disconnection.”

>>Next: Seven Companies that Celebrate the Solo Traveler