For One Day a Year, You Can Open Your Own Restaurant
The co-working space D.Collective transformed into a pop up restaurant (Photo: Elsa Thorp)
Have you ever dreamed of opening up your very own restaurant? Many of us have, but time and monetary constraints stop most of us from fulfilling that particular culinary dream.
But what if you could do it for just one day? Now you can.
That’s the idea behind Restaurant Day, a single day when anyone in the world can open his own restaurant and serve strangers a home-cooked meal. It happens every four months (the next one is on Aug. 17) and allows diners to experience a whole new world of cuisine. The idea was cooked up in 2011 in Helsinki by Timo Santala and a friend who wanted to open a traditional restaurant but realized the red tape and regulations made it impossible monetarily. As a protest against the restaurant industry, they decided to start the one-day festival during which anyone could open a place and serve whatever he’d like. The first event had 45 restaurants in 13 cities. From there, the idea spread like wildfire and blossomed into a party with more than 1,700 restaurants in 30 countries.
Related: The Summer’s Best Pop-Up Restaurants
People queuing for the vegan bakings of Kallion Herkut on the second Restaurant Day in Helsinki (Photo: Tuomas Sarparanta)
Restaurants are opened everywhere, including living rooms, front and back yards, parks, alleys, and more. The single-day restaurateurs create a menu and decide what to charge on their own.
Emilie’s Alley, a pop-up restaurant in Amsterdam (Photo: Emilie Majoor)