Glasses and bottles dimly lit by candles

Our friends from Lighthouse Central Florida have partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank, for a 4th year in a row, to host Dining in the Dark on July 27th. The Orlando Police Department’s SWAT team members are again joining the event as Guest Servers and will be wearing their night-vision goggles to navigate the dinning room. The event is already sold out, but you can still add your name to the wait list.

During a Dining in the Dark evening, guest are served dinner in a completely black environment. You can’t see your food, you don’t know how full your glass is, and you have to navigate the table with your hands to reach what you want.  For a couple of hours, you are put in the shoes of a blind person.  It is a humbling experience, but it is also fun to have dinner in a different way!

Dining in the Dark has become a yearly fundraiser event for Lighthouse Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando; however, other cities in the U.S. offer a similar experience year round.  For example, Market 17 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, offers 2 Dinning in the Dark seatings a night. 

In New York City, the restaurant Camaje offers a similar experience. Camaje calls it Dinners in the Dark since its guests attend dinner blindfolded. Dinners in the Dark are scheduled between 4 to 6 times a month. 

In Los Angeles, the restaurant Opaque is solely devoted to the dining in the dark experience. The restaurant is open Thursday through Saturday and its servers are blind or visually impaired individuals. 

Another opportunity to dine in the dark is The Blind Cafe, which goes to different cities around the country.  The Blind Cafe will be in Seattle in September and in Boulder, Colorado, in October.  It brings a slightly different dinning experience, still in a completely dark room, but here the event has live music and guests participate in a Q&A session with legally blind keynote speakers and ambassadors.

Next time you have the chance to dine in the dark, don’t hesitate, take advantage of the opportunity and enjoy dinner from a different perspective.  And, in the case of the Dining in the Dark in Orlando next week, you will also be supporting 2 great organizations: Lighthouse Central Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank.

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