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For many, dining out alone is usually awkward at best. Avoiding looks of pity and curiosity from surrounding couples, families and even waitstaff can make the whole endeavor feel painfully scrutinized. 

Yet that’s not the case everywhere. Dutch creative agency MVGCA has hopes of changing the dialogue with one-person restaurant Eenmaal (translation: “dinner for one”), located in Amsterdam. Created with the purpose of removing the stigma surrounding solo dining — and encouraging people to step away from the desk and reclaim a restorative lunch hour — the concept traveled to London last week for a two-day pop-up event, offering a three-course meal to ticketed guests.  

Reactions from the London event were mostly positive. Some people loved it for the quiet atmosphere (no overzealous tourists or screaming kids at the next table does sound wildly appealing), and others said the experience helped them focus more on the flavors of the food

Making solo diners more comfortable is a great idea — we don’t all have the luxury of companionship for every meal. But despite good intentions, most diners end up glued to their phone, iPad or book instead of completely immersing themselves in the experience. In a world where mobile devices pretty much eliminate the feeling of being alone (hello, Black Mirror), we'd like to suggest the organizers make a bolder statement and restrict the use of electronics as well. After all, are you really embracing the idea of eating alone when you’re just checking your email or texting a friend at the same time?

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