Dinner in total darkness aims to explore senses, raise awareness

A dinner and concert in complete darkness will be held this Friday and Saturday in Northside at the North Presbyterian Church. The event is part of the growing number of “Blind Cafes” being hosted around the country to raise awareness and improve the lives of those who are blind.

The Cincinnati Blind Café is the fourth such event to take place in the United States, and will include a three-course, gluten-free vegetarian/vegan meal prepared by a popular local chef. There will also be a concert performed by Rosh & One Eye Glass Broken in complete darkness.

Event organizers say that all of the waiters will be blind and that patrons will have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A with the waiters about issues related to visual impairment. Furthermore, a portion of the event’s proceeds will go to support the Clovernook Center for the Blind & Visually Impaired.

The idea is to challenge patrons to experience life without sight, and to force greater use of other senses. Additionally, organizers and patrons claim that the lack of sight allows for heighted taste of the prepared meal, and that the music and poetry elements come to life in a new, unexpected way. Patrons of past blind café events have walked away feeling enlightened, and encourage others to experience the event first-hand.

“I went to the show, and it was magical,” exclaimed Kalea Wright who attended a blind café in Austin, TX. “It truly gave me a new look on life. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share the evening with you all.”

Tickets for the Cincinnati Blind Café (map) start at $50 and can be purchased online or by calling 1-800-838-3006. Organizers say that check in will begin at 5:45pm, with seating to follow at 6pm both nights.

Photograph of two patrons at a recently held blind cafe in Boulder, CO courtesy of Alive Studios.