Arts & Entertainment News

Dinner in total darkness aims to explore senses, raise awareness

Cincinnati will join the growing list of cities to host a blind cafe this Friday and Saturday. The events aim to heighten participants’ senses and raise awareness for the blind community. The Cincinnati Blind Cafe will be held at North Presbyterian Church in Northside and will include a three-course meal and a concert in total darkness.

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.

By Randy A. Simes

Randy is an award-winning urban planner who founded UrbanCincy in May 2007. He grew up on Cincinnati’s west side in Covedale, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s nationally acclaimed School of Planning in June 2009. In addition to maintaining ownership and serving as the managing editor for UrbanCincy, Randy has worked professionally as a planning consultant throughout the United States, Korea and the Middle East. After brief stints in Atlanta and Chicago, he currently lives in the Daechi neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam district.