Sunday, March 14, 2010

Underground hostess (ah-hem, restaurateur)

The Washington Post ran a photo gallery this week of a local hostess who is running a supper club out of her home. On the one hand, it is enterprising and given her talent with her native dishes, fascinating and a culturally rich opportunity. On the other hand, the concept of charging guests to come into my home and eat at my table struck me as tasteless: Some things are not for sale. Finally still, there is this very positive, promising idea that it brings together people who would not otherwise gather around a table in a culture which rings with, "Ugh, I don't feel like going..." in the moments before a dinner gathering at the home of a friend.

I wonder what you think?

A peek inside an underground restaurant

Unlicensed and under-the-radar restaurants have long prospered overseas, but the trend is now gaining steam in Washington. A hostess who goes by the name of Geeta runs one such establishment, Hush Supper Club, out of her home in Northwest Washington.

- The Washington Post


Marsha said...

I'm of multiple minds on this. On the one hand, I don't think it's too terribly much different from hosting fundraisers at home for organizations or candidates for elected office. Or, for that matter, those home party presentations for candles, food storage or whatnot. We're not entirely unaccustomed to money changing hands under the guise of hospitality so...

As the article notes, she's actively trying to create bridges amongst her patrons, thus striking a blow for elimination of the terrible ways friends can treat each other when a mere dinner is on offer. (I actually hold those home party things every now and again because my friends who cannot make time for socializing would never turn down a "business meeting").

The blurring of home and business does bring up short, though, as it's not a sometime thing but rather a regular event. Although, now that I've typed that sentence, it wasn't all that long ago that most human endeavor combined home and business.

Hm. After all that, put me down as "thinking about it."

LPC said...

These are huge in Hong Kong. I think it's a fad, produced by our constant search for the new.

Queen of Cashmere said...

My home is my sanctuary. If I care about you, I will invite you in --most likely to spend time around my dinner table.
Opening one's home to paying customers strikes me a commercial and crass.
I happen to live in a co-op apartment building. If the board ever got wind that a shareholder was conducting a business like this in their home there would be serious repercussions. When applying for admission into the building, shareholder's agree to abide by the house rules. Trade traffic is considered a definite no-no.
I do run my business out of my home but never see clients or customers here. I have a shared office space where I meet with them if needed.
Marsha, there is a fine distinction between a fundraiser and running an underground restaurant which makes all the difference in the complexion of these two events. In hosting a fundraiser or charity event, the host or hostess is the end recipient of the money. Also, people tend to reach out to their network of friends and acquaintances for the invitation list unlike the restaurant. . There is a huge difference between charity and commercialism. One should never masquerade as the other.

little augury said...

A next step(which is much preferred) is to have a beautiful setting to do this on the up and up-One of the most wonderful dinners I have attended was in a small NC town where the chez French chef did beautiful courses over the evening for a huge fee and an elegant evening. It was grand. Love the idea of sitting down to something like this somewhere.

The Countess of Nassau County said...

I kind of dig it.

I like the way she's sharing her culture with her guests/patrons.

Honestly, I'd go.

sle said...

I find it odd, but I would entertain the idea of going. I would not feel comfortable opening my home..or at least I don't think I would and charging for a meal. It reminds me of those "dinners in" people do for charity, only there is not a charity involved.

roajewels said...

Looks wonderful, but wouldn't she be a restauranteuse?- LOL