January 24, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Pop-up restaurants in Sweden to serve one diner at a time

Pop-up restaurants in Sweden to serve one diner at a time
(CNN) – The cost of eating three menus on Bord For En (Table For One), a pop-up restaurant in Sweden that opened on May 10, was left to the discretion of the diner.

And that is dinner, single, as the restaurant name suggests.

Rasmus Persson and Linda Karlsson are the couple responsible for this unique concept. Located in Värmland, about 350 kilometers (217 miles) from Stockholm, restaurants, or single-table restaurants and chairs, more precisely, are located in fertile grasslands.

Promises – and premises – there is no interaction with other people. This is an individual experience that is meant to be enjoyed separately.

There are no waiters and other guests on site. Throughout the limited run (will be open until August 1), one person per day will be served so that Persson and Karlsson can give their guests full focus.

A single table and chair is located in a lush meadow in Värmland, Sweden.

Thanks to Linda Karlsson

The couple did not try to turn things around and, indeed, did not do this to make money.

They said they would not allow the audience: “We want to avoid the feeling of being watched while you eat your food. We all face hard times and there are people who have lost their jobs, loved ones or even their minds.”

Eat now, pay for anything

Persson and Karlsson designed the concept of Table for One on a one-night will a few weeks ago when Karlsson’s parents showed up at the couple’s home when Covid-19 made its way across the world.

Karlsson notes that Sweden has issued recommendations, not restrictions, on social distance practices.

Nonetheless, Persson and Karlsson decided that instead of leaving Karlsson’s parents at risk in the house where the four of them could enjoy a meal together under normal circumstances, it would be wise to set up a table for them outside in a safe park.

This unusual dining experience is an inspiration for something more official. So, Table for One was born.

“We welcome all, no matter what your financial situation. The price of the menu depends on the guest,” said Karlsson, who, along with Persson has experience in the hospitality industry – he, at the front of the house; he is, behind the house.

Karlsson and Persson worked on the radio, and although Karlsson said the question, “what do you plan to do with one of your wild and precious lives?” Haunting everyone, he has not found the answer. However, the pair said they might expand Table For One “when this is all over.”

A socially acceptable meal

In many international cities, eating alone, either in a bar or two over the corner, is not only acceptable but also normalized and appreciated.

Even so, not all restaurants have adopted a solo restaurant practice. Karlsson is optimistic that Table For One will further reduce the social awkwardness that surrounds a solo restaurant: “I have a dream about it being socially acceptable to eat alone, and maybe now we’ve gotten there?”

“The mere picture of desolate chairs and tables is a call to solo experience.”

Joel Söderbäck created May Fruit, a non-alcoholic beverage that will be served at Bord For En, a new pop-up restaurant in Sweden.

Three courses, one guest

The menu, inspired by travel and memories of Persson, is arranged through long-term months of restaurants. Swedish hash chocolate, smetana (a type of sour cream), seaweed caviar and wood that is picked light brown is a starter.

Following the first course are pure yellow carrot-ginger, brown hazelnut butter, sweet corn croquette, snake root ash. The dessert, called “The Last Days of Summer,” is ginned blueberries, ice buttermilk and viola sugar from beets on a couple’s farm.

Drinks will also be served, but all types will be non-alcoholic.

Think of elderflower, seedlip, and strawberries served in small bottles, thanks to curator Joel Söderbäck, who heads several high-end bars in Stockholm. Söderbäck plans to take advantage of local agricultural and seasonal ingredients to make the ingredients.

Food and drinks will be brought to each guest in a picnic basket tied to a rope that leads to the restaurant kitchen window.

Asked whether an exception would be made for more than one guest, said the couple who had been alone, Karlsson said “unfortunately not.”

“It’s sad to say no,” he added, praising the authenticity of the experience of self-isolation.

“We may be isolated, but do we spend time with ourselves? This is an opportunity to do that. You deserve to spend time together.”