Restaurants to Die For
There are certain cross-cultural no-nos when it comes to designing, naming and theming a restaurant, the primary among them being, don't associate your restaurant in people's minds with things that taste bad, and things you should under no circumstances eat. Poison, for instance, makes a good band name but a terrible restaurant name. (See example at left.) A close second, in my book, is death, dying or dead people -- I've always found it extremely weird when people put out little snacks and coffee at funeral parlors, for instance. I'm near dead people; I don't want anything in my mouth. But just as with every seemingly hard-and-fast rule, there are people out there to break them; much to our amazement there are not one but several restaurants that trade on death as a theme.
Nestled at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains -- home, not inappropriately, to Dracula's Castle -- is Ukraine's newest eatery, Eternity. The building itself is fashioned in the shape of a giant coffin, 20 meters by 6 meters, and decorated on the inside with wreath displays and, naturally, more coffins. Its dishes sport mysterious titles like "Nine Days," "Forty Days" and "Let's Meet in Heaven," the third of which seems a foregone conclusion after you've ingested the first two. Apparently its owners are hoping to get into the Guinness Book as the world's largest coffin. (I guess there's no category for "grossest restaurant," or they'd win that one hands-down.)