The Blind Cafe lit up back in 2010 as the bright idea of Boulder musician Brian Rocheleau, known as Rosh, and friends Rick Hammond and chef Marcus Mccauley. After experiencing a cafe in the dark in Iceland while on tour as a singer-songwriter, Rosh was inspired to put on his own live music shows in the dark, where guests could experience intimate concerts without the distraction of cell phones, light shows or even social etiquette. He soon partnered up with Mccauley and spoken word artist Rick Hammond to create a complete sensory experience in the dark. The result, the Blind Cafe, offers guests a chance to shed their sight and experience conversation, food, music and more in a completely new way, with limited distractions.
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The event may be in the dark, but it's not clueless: The staff stresses that the cafe is in no way intended to recreate what is is like to be blind. Instead, the experience is intended to change the way you interact with others — and yourself. "The darkness breaks down a lot of social barriers as everyone has a collected experience without being seen; in the dark it doesn't matter if you're black, white, tall, short, blind, wearing Grateful Dead clothes or in a business suit. It's a powerful forum to create a social impact on people," says the cafe's website.
The concept struck a chord with many people, and the events regularly sell out. The cafe has popped up in seven cities across the country, including San Francisco, Austin, Seattle and Chicago, and today returns to its home base of Boulder.
The Blind Cafe will pop up twice a night, at 6 and 8:30 p.m., March 3 through March 5, at the Wesley Chapel, 290 Folsom Street in Boulder. Tickets range from $85 to $195 and are sold on a sliding scale, based on what participants feel they can afford. Admission includes a vegetarian dinner, glass of wine, dessert, live music and a question-and-answer discussion in the dark with your blind waitstaff and the other guests. Learn all about this one-of-a-kind experience and grab tickets at theblindcafe.com.
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