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August 6, 2010

Peekaboo potties from the guy behind Tatu

ice toilet

The guy who's opening Tatu in Power Plant Live! can lay claim to another restaurant innovation: restrooms with see-through doors.

I turned up this tidbit in a 10-year-old article in something called Nation's Restaurant News. It described a restaurant Jody Pennette had opened in Greenwich, Conn.

"Bleu Cafe, co-owned with Tom Torelli, is a hip, French bistro that might seem more at home in not-so-distant New York City's SoHo district than in the heart of this quiet suburban town, nestled among conservative shops," the story reads. "Bleu Cafe boasts such elements as a communal table and glass bathroom doors that turn opaque when they're locked. It is intentionally designed to test the boundaries of residential tolerance for the avant-garde even as the menu offers up more traditional bistro fare."

See-through bathroom doors? Even if they fog up when the stall is in use, is that an appetizing addition to the dining experience?

In the Restaurant News piece, Pennette explains the thinking behind the clear doors and other edgy features.

"Bleu Cafe has got an attitude," he is quoted saying. "It's a funky French bistro, and it's not designed for everyone. ... We didn't round the corners at all. We gave it a hard edge."

I asked Pennette if he planned to bring peekaboo potties to Tatu.

"No not there," he said via e-mail. "We try to keep coming up with different ideas so we're not prone to repeating ourselves however those bathrooms certainly were fun."

AP photo of another sort of clear potty, at the at Ice Gallery in Seoul, South Korea

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 12:27 PM | | Comments (8)


glass bathroom doors that turn opaque when they're locked.

I saw those in a movie or TV show that took place in a club in Miami. Someone gets stabbed to death in a stall, so the fogging seemed to work well enough for murder. I can't remember what movie it was.

I encountered these things about ten years ago in Palm Beach, Florida.

I don't remember if they were in a rest room or a dressing room in a clothing shop ... but they were very impressive. I'm withholding judgment on their appropriateness in a restaurant -- just saying the technology was very cool!

Think of it in positive terms. You'll always know which stall is to one's specification of cleanliness without the bother of venturing in first.

I hate to think what this would do to someone suffering from a "shy bladder" ...

Anyone else notice that Captcha words are getting less and less like real words?

I went to a bar in Chicago that had 2 way mirrors in their bathrooms. You could see out into the bar while using the urinal.

Oh, joy - more scandalous trends that we get to enjoy in Baltimore years after bigger cities.

It's unfortunate that the powers that be in Baltimore night too often tout novelty in things that are are passe to anyone who can afford a Bolt Bus ticket.

...13 years ago at a bar in Manhattan.

...13 years ago at a bar in Manhattan.

I remember. We were listening to Phil Collins and had to return some video tapes.

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About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner blog.
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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