Paris’ first naked restaurant to close
The first nudist restaurant in Paris is set to close after just over year of serving classic French dishes to diners in the buff.
O’Naturel, in the French capital’s 12th district, will close on February 16, according to a Facebook post from the owners.
Twins Mike and Stéphane Saada told the AFP news agency that they were having to close for financial reasons.
In another Facebook post, they called on customers to take advantage of the remaining time.
“Don’t hesitate to book now to enjoy a last naked dinner in Paris,” it read. “It’s now or never.”
After opening in November 2017 to great fanfare, the restaurant received rave reviews from customers on Facebook, with an average score of 4.8 out of 5.
Many customers praised both the food and the unique experience after enjoying a naked meal, shielded from passersby by a thick white curtain.
“Great restaurant, futuristic in the audacity of its naturism,” wrote Florian Dupuis last August, “promoting the beautiful values of naturism, tolerance and non judgment, living together, all together, as we are, and in osmosis with nature, all natural.”
Diners at O’Naturel remove their clothes in a cloakroom, where they also leave their mobile phones for privacy reasons, according to AFP.
And while those eating may be naked, the owners are fully clothed as they serve the food.
“Our role is to put people at ease,” said Stéphane in an interview with AFP when the restaurant opened.
“As soon as customers 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.”
While local custom wasn’t enough to keep O’Naturel afloat, there appears to be growing interest in naturism in France.
A designated nudist zone was launched in the Bois de Vincennes park in August 2017, running for three months before reopening in spring 2018, with the aim of attracting some of the estimated 2.6 million nudists in France.
On May 5 last year, contemporary art gallery Palais de Tokyo opened its doors to naturists for an afternoon of art, uncovered.
Then in June, the city’s Nudists Association hosted a giant picnic for naturists.
The event marked the inaugural Parisian Day of Naturism, which the association said it hopes will become an annual event celebrated on the last Sunday in June.