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¿Son orquídeas o personas? La ingeniosa alternativa del Mediamatic ETEN, en Ámsterdam, para reabrir sus puertas el próximo 19 de mayo. Photo: Mediamatic ETEN
Are they orchids or people? The ingenious alternative of the Mediamatic ETEN, in Amsterdam, to reopen its doors next May 19. Photo: Mediamatic ETEN

Greenhouses vs. COVID, a restaurant's "sexy" solution to post-quarantine dinners

Neither Plexiglas screens nor cardboard partitions, a vegetarian restaurant is turning its terrace into small greenhouses for two.

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With more than 30 states in the U.S. given the green light to the reopen businesses, some restaurateurs are still facing a tricky question: how to adapt their locations to the hygiene and safety measures needed to keep their customers and workers safe from coronavirus. 

The limited capacity allowed by law in most countries - half of the available space in the premises or even a third, depending on the legislation - and the minimum social distance that customers must maintain of 1.5 meters- make the distribution of tables complicated, especially in small businesses and on terraces. 

But one restaurant in Amsterdam seems to have found a very elegant solution to all these problems. No Plexiglas screens, no cardboard partitions; what the Mediamatic ETEN cultural centre in Oosterdok has come up with are greenhouses against COVID-19 so their customers can have their meals outdoors emulating photosynthesis like plants.

Greenhouses for two

The experience is called "serres séparées" and is a confluence of the typical couples' private dining rooms and greenhouses, which also makes all the sense in the world, since the restaurant is vegan and based on the "plant-based" philosophy. 

Although, if we think about it, it's a pretty twisted idea, don't you think? People boxed in greenhouses outdoors like delicate orchids devouring vegetables.

The place, though, is a luxury. The five greenhouses that the Mediamatic has put on the canal, where sunsets are incredible. Moreover, each of these cubicles can only be occupied by two people living in the same house, strict dinner shifts will be followed and the menu will also be closed. 

"Our staff is equipped with plastic face shields and latex gloves. We use long wooden planks to serve the food. In this way, interactions with the guest are at a distance. Dishes, napkins and cutlery are collected on the wooden planks and these are then thoroughly cleaned," the owners explained to Traveler.es.

They have already conducted several tests with family and friends of the workers and hope that the government will approve their idea before May 19, when the Netherlands is expected to reopen most of its restaurants.

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