Going Dutch! Amsterdam Restaurant Tests ‘Greenhouse Dining’, as Europe Opens Up

Mediamatic AmsterdamPhoto was taken at Mediamatic ETEN in Biotoop Dijkspark during our testing on April 28, 2020. Reproduction permitted with credit: Anne Lakeman for Mediamatic Amsterdam.
Anne Lakeman for Mediamatic Amsterdam

After weeks of being closed to the public, a restaurant in the Netherlands will start serving diners in enclosed glass greenhouses in order to prevent the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.

The ETEN restaurant, which is a part of the Mediamatic arts centre in Amsterdam, will open its doors to the public on May 21st.

Patrons will be seated in ‘Serres Séparées’ (French for separated greenhouses) so that they can observe social distancing rules while having a night out.

“This was one of the most feasible ideas from a large list of ideas we had when brainstorming,” the art centre’s founding partner Willem Velthoven told the NL Times.

Velthoven said that despite there being room for more people, the greenhouses will be limited to two or three diners “because we are now careful with our optimism”.

The idea has been welcomed with enthusiasm throughout the city, with all reservations currently booked through July.

Elsewhere across the continent, the capital city of Lithuania, Vilnius, announced that it would be turning over public spaces — such as boulevards and squares — to cafes and bars, allowing businesses to move their chairs and tables outside. So far, some 200 cafés, bars, and restaurants have applied for outdoor permits, and the mayor’s office has said that more public space will be made available if needed.

“After six or almost seven weeks in quarantine, everybody wants to socialise somehow and to socialise in a safe way,” said Mayor Remigijus Šimašius.

The city also converted its international airport into a drive-in cinema, teaming up with the Vilnius International Film Festival to put on weekly screenings of films from around the world. Around 150 cars attended the first screening to watch the South Korean Oscar winner Parasite.

Germans, on the other hand, put a different twist on the drive-in idea, launching the world’s first ‘Autodisco‘, in which 500 people raved to the music of Dutch DJ Devin Wild from their cars own cars.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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