Two Belgian men have come up with a way to take fine dining to a whole new level - Literally! Diners at their pop-up and franchised restaurants enjoy gourmet meals perched upon floating platforms suspended 180-feet above ground with the help of a giant crane!
Called 'Dinner in the Sky' the concept is the brainchild of David Ghysels, a publicist at Hakuna Matata and Stefan Kerkhofs owner of The Fun Group which specializes in extreme attractions. Ghysels says he was looking for a unique way to promote a local French restaurant in 2006 when he met Mr. Kerkhofs. It turns out that Kerkhofs had been toying with the idea of suspending a table with a giant crane. His notion fit perfectly with what Ghysels wanted to do, and the radical idea was born!
The inaugural event held above the city of Brussels in April 2007, comprised an ordinary platform suspended in the atmosphere with 22 guests and the chef of the French restaurant Ghysels was trying to promote. It was so successful that the men knew they had a winning concept on their hands. And they were right!
In the past nine years, 'Dinner in the Sky' has delighted over 1000 guests in 40 countries. The locations range from skies above the bustling Las Vegas strip to the beautiful Dubai Marina and even adjacent to the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
To keep the meals intimate and exclusive, each sitting comprises just 22 guests. Diners are first treated to cocktails and appetizers on the ground. Then they line up at the restaurant's entrance which in this case is a giant roller-coaster-like platform fitted with a securely attached tables and chairs. Once seated the guests are requested to strap on a safety harness and the fun ride begins.
Upon reaching the desired height, the visitors spend anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes enjoying a three or four-course meal, prepared by a famous local chef. Some pop-up versions even feature piano players or orchestra bands that entertain guests from their own suspended platforms. To ensure that an errant fork or knife doesn't hurt people on the ground, the space underneath the table is kept clear of all traffic.
The $300 fee per guest includes a limousine ride to the restaurant's destination. However, the one thing it doesn't is a trip to the bathroom. For while gastronomic food may be available that high up, restrooms are not!
And while the name refers to an evening meal, the platforms have also been suspended for lunches. Additionally, the brilliant idea has been extended to include 'Events in the Sky.' So far people have used the elevated platforms to play poker matches, practice their golf swings and most of all to get married! In Las Vegas, the popular “ Chapel in the Skies” offers nine ‘flights’ daily!
Resources: dailymail.co.uk,wsj.com, cnn.com,dinnerinthesky.com