Restaurant Redefined

April 1, 2013

By Gabrielle. Images via Remodelista.

I’m hoping your homes and dinner tables – and bellies! – were as full as you wished all weekend. I don’t know about you, but holidays always make me miss my family and friends who aren’t next to me to share a memory or pass the potatoes.I’m lucky to have enough Blairs to fill a table or two, no matter the occasion, and for that I’m forever grateful.

Speaking of tables…would you ever invite strangers to eat at yours? One couple in New York does just that, once every month on the fourth Saturday. They call it Neighbor, and describe it like this: “There’s something about opening up your home for a meal that makes people fast friends. People offer to help us cook. They ask if they can help do dishes. They stay talking with us hours after the meal is done. Being that friendly and open, especially in a city like New York where people don’t usually hang out in their homes, makes people feel welcome.”

I love it when traditional concepts experience a shake-up. And I feel like I know so many people who secretly wish they could open up their own restaurants but are scared to death of the very idea. This could be a fulfilling alternative, don’t you think? Or maybe you’re thinking more along the lines of “Wow. This sounds dangerous!”

P.S. – I think my sister is the queen of pop-up dinner parties!

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lena April 1, 2013 at 8:12 am

It does sound wonderful, however I am not sure if I have the guts to do that. I wish my husband and I could open a little B&B and could meet all the people from all over the world.

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2 Design Mom April 2, 2013 at 11:41 am

It does seem pretty gutsy! And I hope you get to open a B&B — I’m sure meeting people from all over the world could be very fulfilling.

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3 Lisette Wolter-McKinley April 1, 2013 at 9:56 am

Sounds like a gusty and amazing experience!

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4 Tulisaa April 1, 2013 at 10:03 am

Lena I wish the exact same thing, you would be in a great atmosphere every day of your life !

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5 Design Mom April 2, 2013 at 11:41 am

Go for it, Tulissa!

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6 Noemi April 1, 2013 at 11:28 am

I think it’s a great idea. I love to invite friends for dinner why not try ie. with your neighbours.

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7 Becca Lloyd April 1, 2013 at 11:29 am

My heart just skipped a beat because I want to do this so much!!

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8 Design Mom April 2, 2013 at 11:42 am

Oh Becca. I think that’s a sign! When a creative idea gets my heart racing — and kind of terrifies me, I know it’s probably a game-changer, and definitely something I should pursue.

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9 Jane April 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm

In Chicago, we have a program called Makor Shabbat — it’s put on by a partnership of several synagogues and the local JCC. People open their Shabbat dinner tables to complete or near strangers every month. Basically, you say how many spots you have at your table and you are provided with the guests’ names & contact information. It’s a great way to meet people who are new to the community or to just get to know others whom you see all the time at other Jewish community events. The program is geared toward young single-ish adults, but there’s a fair share of married couples, some with young kids. We’ve hosted several times and gone to others’ homes several times.

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10 Jessie April 4, 2013 at 8:53 pm

Just signed up for Neighbor’s emails! I am new to New York and this sounds like a fantastic way to meet fun people and eat amazing food. Thanks for the information! Can’t wait to try it.

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