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We’re sad to inform our nudist friends that after 15 wonderful months, Paris’s nudist restaurant O’Naturel, will close its doors in the French city’s 12th district.
Conceived by twin restaurateurs Mike and Stéphane Saada, O’Naturel was opened in November 2017 to a surprising amount of fanfare. Not only was the naturist concept embraced but diners actually praised the cuisine on the menu as well. On Facebook, patrons even went as far as to rate the restaurant with an average 4.8 stars out of 5.
Completely private, the dining area and guests were protected from curious eyes by a white curtain over the entryway to the room. Meanwhile, diners would show up clothed, then enter a cloakroom where they dropped trow and were escorted to their tables by fully-clothed hosts. For increased discretion, all guests also left their phones with their clothes.
The Saada siblings claim that their main goal was to make anyone visiting their establishment feel completely at ease, despite what some may consider uncomfortable circumstances. They seem to have succeeded there. In a quote that could perhaps only have been uttered by a French naturist, Florian Dupuis celebrated the eatery saying, “Great restaurant, futuristic in the audacity of its naturism, promoting the beautiful values of naturism, tolerance and non-judgment, living together, all together, as we are, and in osmosis with nature, all natural.”
The French Naturist Community
For those out there who prefer a more buttoned-up lifestyle, a nude restaurant in a city preoccupied with fashion may have seemed like a crazy idea. However, O’Naturel aimed to capitalize on a growing and active naturist community — according to estimates, in France alone, there are about 2.6 million active nudists. Only within the last year or so, the French naturist community held nude events at Parisian museums, a giant outdoor picnic, and started the Parisian Day of Naturism, which they hope will be an annual tradition during the last weekend of June.
Alas, O’Naturel has announced that they must close their 40-seat dining room for financial issues (perhaps guests forgot their wallets in their pants?). While ownership is sad about the end of their run, they hope customers were delighted with having good times meeting beautiful people. They also encourage anyone who is curious to join them to do so before they officially close on February 16th. After savoring the unique food and ambiance at the restaurant, make sure you have somewhere equally accepting to go home to — see if France is home to clothing-optional vacation rentals.
Other Nude Restaurants
O’Naturel wasn’t necessarily an unprecedented venture into the nude food business, naturist restaurants in Spain, England, and Japan have all opened their doors in the past but have since closed.
Innato Tenerife in Spain specialized in an “aphrodisiac menu” which served food on the bodies of nude models. The “happy ending” option wasn’t quite what some expected, as models lathered chocolate over their bodies and guests used them as chocolate fountains to dip various fruits in.
The Bunyadi in London, although closed, was perhaps the most successful of its kind and is currently masterminding a comeback. At one point the pop-up restaurant had a wait list of over 45,000 people.
The Amrita, which means “nectar of immortality” in Sanskrit, was the most aggressively exclusive. A meal at the Tokyo restaurant could run over $550 and there was a strict age and weight restrictions for guests who wanted to enter.
Although the naked restaurant is closing, there is still an impressive range of topless beaches in France to enjoy being in the buff at.