From Our Editors
Before the dinner begins, each diner moves their drink to their left hand and lines up, placing their free hand on the shoulder of the person in front of them. That person could be a loved one or a stranger, but very shortly, trusting them will become important. A host walks the line to make sure everyone is ready, then pulls aside a heavy, canvas curtain flap, revealing a room of pitch darkness. The group of people file in, led by the waitstaff—blind people lending others their expertise at moving sightlessly—who help the group to their tables.
In the absence of sight, other senses take over at the meal; diners focus on the aroma and flavor of the plates of food that come before them. Local chefs craft purely vegetarian meals, forgoing elements of presentation to instead create interesting textures and tastes. As the evening commences, the meal is served as the legally blind waitstaff talks about blindness in a Q&A, which is followed by an original soundtrack from performing artists Rosh & the Blind Cafe Orchestra or Richie Flores. The event doesn't just excite senses, but aims to educate visitors about life as a blind person. Yet for all the good it does, the event doesn't stick around forever: as a pop-up originating in Boulder, the organizers bring this experience to cities around the country two to three times a year for special temporary engagements.