Looking for restaurants featuring counter/bar dining? Click: eating
at the bar
Interested in restaurants featuring communal table dining? Click: eating
— partial list —
Thanks to Rebecca Lown, Founder of SPLIT - separated, divorced. reinvent yourself. for featuring
SoloDining.com in "Table for One Please" — 7/29/10
To check out the article, visit: SPLIT
Here's an excerpt from "Sole Purpose," an article on marketing to solo diners published in the June 2010
issue of Cheers Magazine:
“We have some [women] guests that will stay in hotel that dine every night alone,” Wagner [L’Atelier
de Joël Robuchon restaurant at The Four Seasons Hotel New York] says. “There’s something about the interaction
that makes it less intimidating …Make it known that the staff will call a cab for or walk solo females to their
cars,” [Marya Charles] Alexander says."
To read the article in its entirety, visit: Cheers Magazine
Listed among More.com Editors'
"5 Ways for Singles to Spend Valentine's Day"  is:
3) Take yourself out
Don’t be intimidated by dining out alone. If you’re solo, grab a seat at the bar. Or, sign up with solodining.com.
They offer tips and information on the best solo-friendly eateries in your area.
Thank you so much for the recent mention [Lynn's Paradise Cafe — Louisville, KY] in USA Today, "10
Great Places for Solo Diners"!! We have been so barraged with the response from the article that you did in
conjunction with Kathi Baruffi that we are having two "joiner" tables built just for solo diners who
would like to join other solo diners!
To check out the article, click: USA Today [9/19/08]
Marya Charles Alexander's solo dining tips appeared in a "Table Manners" column: "Party of One:
The dos and don'ts of dining solo." Chow.com — August 22, 2007
Our thanks to Chow.com columnist, Helena Echlin
"The Power of one: Solo trips offer freedom — here's how to pull them off." by Sarah Schlichter
- IndependentTraveler.com for MSNBC - Travel — August 7, 2007
We thank Schlicter for mentioning SoloDining.com!
"For online advice, check out SoloDining.com, a website that caters to solo diners. Managed by Editor
Marya Charles Alexander, the site is serviceable rather than slick, but has a solid list of solo diner-friendly
restaurants in the U.S., Canada and Great Britain, broken down by type (restaurants with communal tables or counter/bar
dining) and by geographical region."
"Learn to Love Dining Alone: Don't be shy about eating solo when on the road. Use these insider tips to
make sure you have a good time when dining alone." — August 2, 2007 — WomenEntrepreneur.com
"I am thinking of going to New York on my own for a maximum of a week. I've been there before so sort of know
my way around, but am looking for some advice. While I will be doing things during the day — visiting the art galleries
. . . — my main concern is the evenings. Staying in my hotel and ordering room service would be such a cop-out.
I'd rather go out and be with people, have the best New York experience - and face my fears, if you like.
Debbie Guiness, by email
"I can't think of too many classic New York night-time experiences that can't be enjoyed by one person as
much as a couple or group. Remember: you're alone, not lonely. An evening ascent of the Empire State Building or
newer Top of the Rock . . .
But the nub of your question, I imagine, is around dining. New Yorkers have long since given up noticing anyone
dining alone - whether at the bar, where some lone diners feel more comfortable, or at a table. Indeed, many restaurants
have communal tables which reduce the risk of being plonked in a corner and give a sense of community. Taking some
reading matter along is a time-honoured strategy. Sushi bars and pizza slice takeouts - at which New York excels
- are great for solo diners. The excellent Solo Dining (www.solodining.com) has listings and links to relevant
Tom Hall of Lonely Planet
"Ask Tom" — Tom Hall of Lonely Planet answers your questions about worldwide travel
Observer Escape section — The Guardian — July 22, 2007
" 'Do your homework," says Marya Charles Alexander, editor and publisher of SoloTravelPortal.com and
SoloDining.com. 'Learn all you can about culture [and] location ... Query people who have made similar journeys.'
A little cultural research, pre-departure, can go a long way toward staying safe during your vacation. Are certain
styles of dress frowned upon? Are there certain neighborhoods, bus routes, or subway stations that are notorious
for petty crime? Getting a preview of what to expect can help you once you've arrived." — "Ten Safety
Tips for Solo Travelers" — SmarterTravel.com — June 11, 2007 (Re-publication: USAToday — June
We thank SmarterTravel.com's Sarah Pascarella
for including Marya's travel tips.
"As lone dining becomes more popular, technology lends a hand to those reluctant to enjoy their own company.
American website solodining.com has a story of a diner who arrived at a restaurant with a portable DVD player
and headphones, and watched an entire movie while eating an elaborate three-course meal."
"Table for One: Once Considered the preserve of travelling salesmen and those who had been stood up, eating
out alone is now commonplace. In fact, says Julie Bindel, for committed foodies, solitary dining is a pleasure."
— Guardian Unlimited — The Guardian — May 30, 2007
MSN City Guides' Zanne Schmalzer included SoloDining.com in a terrific piece on solo dining: "Dining
Solo? Join the Crowd." February 23, 2007.
"Communal tables infuse a dose of nightclub adventure into the more staid dinner hour. These tables also depart
from the decades-long cocooning trend where diners prefer private booths. Like small-town coffee shops and pub
barstools, these communal tables offer a place for people to grab dinner, argue politics and complain about the
weather without having to make plans with friends or family."
"We have lost so many of our opportunities to connect with others. We bank at a machine, not with a person.
Our community meeting places are disappearing," said Marya Alexander, editor of SoloDining.com.
"Group tables: Eat a meal, make friends while dining." — The Arizona Republic — May. 19, 2006
"Eating alone, especially as a woman, certainly heightens the senses. The sense of self-consciousness, for
example. Or the realisation you’d rather be anywhere else than in a situation where the rest of the world thinks
you’re either on the make or some kind of drug-fuelled exhibitionist trip."
"It would be weird and untrue, however, to say I always preferred eating alone, but sometimes needs must
and the general rule of thumb, culled from my years of solo dining, is the better the restaurant, the better the
single woman diner will be treated. The best make you feel as if you were a friend of the owner’s, if not the owner
yourself. Self-confidence, however phony, is all – walk in like a sad sack and get treated like one."
"Going Solo": The Novotel, Sheffield now offers solo diners a personal TV screen. Is eating out
alone the way of the future? Have all the old prejudices disappeared? Restaurant writer Clarissa Hyman explores
the inner world of the lone female diner. — Ask
Mario — May 2006 Feature
We thank Ask Mario for referencing SoloDining.com
in this witty piece!
Ask Mario offers (1) a regular e-mail newsletter of updates on the UK Food and Restaurant scene; (2) recommendations
on where to eat out well in the UK and (3) consultancy service to restaurateurs, hoteliers and chefs.
"The way you greet solo diners can be a deal breaker," says Marya Charles Alexander of SoloDining.com.
"You don't want to make them feel uncomfortable"
Such questions as "Party of one?" and "How many are in your group?" can give a single diner
heartburn. Instead, Alexander suggests that hosts ask: "Any seating preference?"
"The Ten-Minute Manager's Guide to Serving Solos," by Virginia Gerst, included subheads such
as: Counter Culture, One for All, Reference Booking, Singles Seen and One on
Restaurants & Institutions — April 15, 2006
"If you don't want extra attention from the staff or to be courted by a stranger, Marya Charles Alexander
advises that you tell your server. If you are open to joining others let that be known too. You hope nobody will
send over a drink, a gesture that might seem gallant but has too many connotations and can make a woman feel that
she owes you something."
"The best way to invite someone to join you is to have a waiter do it," said Ms. Alexander, who welcomes
encounters when dining alone. "It's nice to give women a chance to assess you from across a room rather than
while you're standing over her."
"The Rudness of Strangers: More women than ever are eating alone in good restaurants. Is it bad protocol
to invite them to join your table?" by Bob Morris — Sunday Styles - The New York Times —
March 12, 2006
Marya Charles Alexander discussed the "ins & outs" of dining alone with Radio Cafe's Jon Mortimer
on January 26, 2006.
"Marya Charles Alexander says there is a flip side to the studied neglect of a solo diner — overly attentive
restaurant staff members. 'Usually such overkill is a result of projection. Some people find the idea of dining
out alone so uncomfortable they assume everyone feels the same,' she says."
Table for One? The prospect of dining alone is too taboo to even consider for many, but there can be benefits
for the adventurous souls who try the solo experience. — Orange Coast - The Magazine of Orange County
— November 2005
"Marya Charles Alexander, who edits an online site called solodining.com, offers these seven tips for being
a confident diner: . . ." — Table for One? The Savvy Solo Diner Fears Not — Calgary Herald — August
Marya Charles Alexander offered solo dining tips on the Jeremy Vine Show - BBC Radio 2 (13.3 million listeners;
16.5% market share) on October 5, 2005.
"Discussion" on the BBC Radio 2 website on that Wednesday focused on: Eating Alone in Restaurants.
For more media coverage
of SoloDining.com — click: here
For More Information . . .
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