Want a Nice Dinner Out? Your Hotel Room Awaits
It had been six months since Nick Bayer and his wife had been on a date. But with freezing temperatures gripping Philadelphia and indoor restaurant service banned, dinner in a tent wasn’t appealing. So instead of sitting outdoors at the Walnut Street Cafe, a local restaurant, they opted for an elegant meal served in a hotel room that had been converted into a private dining space.
Their night out was the result of teamwork between the cafe and AKA City University hotel, part of a growing trend that is attempting to provide business for two industries hardest hit by the pandemic — restaurants and hotels. (This joint effort is being called the Walnut Suite Cafe.)
This isn’t typical room service. The Bayers didn’t sit on the edge of a bed eating tepid food from a cart deposited in the middle of the room. Instead, for $50, they got use of a suite for three hours to enjoy their $65 per person prix fixe meals (not including beverages) served by a waiter at a laid dining table. To minimize contact, the food and beverages are preordered and prepaid. The waiter not only served, but escorted the Bayers to the room on the 31st floor of the hotel, so he was the only person they had contact with all evening.
“We were really excited, my wife and I dressed up,” said Mr. Bayer, who wore a blazer with a pocket square to his dinner on a Wednesday evening with a Nor’easter rolling in.