Many of you will have seen the news about vegan eatery Mediamatic ETEN restaurant in Amsterdam coming up with the ingenious idea to serve diners in individual greenhouses as the public continues to practice social distancing.
Here we look at the truth behind the story…
As in many other countries, physical restaurants in The Netherlands have been closed now for several weeks. The Dutch government enforced ‘intelligent lockdown’ on 15th March, with further restrictions in the weeks that followed.
Now that restrictions are easing off, certain businesses including hairdressers, outdoor sport locations and primary schools have already been allowed to reopen, with restaurants scheduled to reopen on June 1st.
However, although restaurants are opening, many still have concerns about the risk of infection with owners required to take precautions to keep staff and diners safe.
To combat the issue of social distancing, vegan restaurant Mediamatic ETEN has come up with a novel way to seat diners to they can enjoy a meal with their families and friends.
The restaurant, which is part of a sustainable arts and cultural centre located on Dijksgracht close to Centraal station, has made headlines recently after it revealed its plans to seat customers in separated enclosed greenhouses.
At present Mediamatic ETEN remains closed to the public, but have so far hosted three trial events for friends and family.
They had originally planned to open to the public on 21st May but this was not approved by city officials and the date has been postponed to 1st June.
The individual greenhouses are intended to seat a maximum of 2 guests who have to be from the same household.
The project’s name, Serres Séparées is a play on the French word chambers séparées for separate rooms. Diners will be served a 4-course meal for €100 by servers wearing face shields.
Dishes will be served on the ends of long wooden planks so the food can be delivered without the servers entering the individual greenhouses.
So far the idea is so popular that they reservations are fully booked until the end of June. The eatery will assess how things progress before deciding whether to continue with the greenhouses or to install more from July.
During more normal times, the restaurant alternates between serving vegan pizza 3 days or a set menu 4 days per week. Located right on the waterfront in a large mainly glass building, Mediamatic ETEN also attracts visitors for daytime coffee and snacks or just to drink specialty craft beers on their sunny terrace.
Images by Willem Velthoven
Discover the best places to find vegan food in Amsterdam with our vegan guide to the city.