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French “Naked Restaurant” Allows Patrons to Dine in the Nude

At the recently inaugurated O’naturel restaurant in Paris, France, diners leave more than their coats at the door. The country’s first “naked restaurant” allows naturists to enjoy classic French fare completely nude, in a comfortable and relaxed ambiance.

O’naturel is not the first nudist restaurant in Europe. In the summer of 2016, a pop-up nudist restaurant opened in London, followed by another in Tenerife. Their success inspired twin entrepreneurs Mike and Stephane Saada to try the same concept in Paris. Although they’re not nudists themselves, the brothers spotted a lucrative opportunity in a country known as a top naturist destination. “People only get to be nudists in the summer,” 42-year-old Stephane said, suggesting O’naturel lets patrons enjoy nudism all year year round.

O’naturel features minimalist decor and a menu of classic French bistro cuisine, such as lobster, foie gras and snails with parsley cream sauce, although there are vegan options as well. The three-course menu costs USD 57.50. Diners leave their clothing and mobile devices (to prevent photographing fellow customers) in a cloakroom upon arrival, and then they are given a pair of slippers to wear. Finally, a server seats them at one of 20 tables in the small restaurant. The chairs feature black cloth covers that are discreetly changed between seatings, and a white curtain hangs in the window to protect diners from gawkers and curious passersby.

“Our role is to put people at ease,” Stephane told AFP. “As soon as they enter the dining room, we accompany them to their table, and we reassure them that it’s not like the whole room is looking at them.”

The twin manager, who also work as servers, are both clothed according to French laws regarding workplace conditions.

The restaurant is only open for dinner, and reservations are required to discourage the wrong type of customer. “We might reject someone, or explain to them that if they’re looking to hook up, they should go somewhere else,” Stephane explained. His twin Mike added, “Nudity doesn’t have to mean sexuality.”

With around 460 designated outdoor nudist spots, nudism is pretty popular in France, but the recently opened O’naturel restaurant is not without critics. Neighbors have pointed out that it is located next to a children’s creche, although opposing opening hours renders the point moot.

However, Yves Leclerc, the president of the French Naturist Federation, was thrilled to be able to dine in the buff. “We’re in the heart of Paris, and we’re eating naked. It’s a little surreal. It’s like when we’re on holiday, but it’s even better,” he said.

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