I read an interesting post on SlashFood today about "speakeasy" restaurants. Someone has reported a trend of people operating pseudo restaurant/supper-clubs out of houses and occaisionally other locations without the official stamp from the local health department. Generally, you have to know someone who knows someone who knows how to get a "reservation" at one of these "restaurants", where the food is whatever the hosts want to serve, and the price can be quite reasonable, especially when they offer all-inclusive drinks and multi-course meals. The whole thing sounds kind of shady and illicit and....a lot like some of our own evenings with friends.
I had a friend once refer to our house as his favorite restaurant. Before having kids, we used to entertain a LOT, but among friends the cost of that entertainment was usually shared by all. We'd collect money (or at least a credit-card-carrying-representative of each family/couple), and then go shopping for ingredients, then cook and serve. My husband likes to play bartender, and I prefer to play chef/caterer, and a good time is had by all. Yikes, does that mean we need a health department sticker?
Granted, we never attempted to make a profit from our dinners together (unless you count leftovers as profits), and while hosting, we probably spent more of our own money in depleted liquor and other basics (salad dressings, butter, spices, etc). I suppose we could have upped the price to make a little extra money on the side.
Hmm...should we ever run into money problems, this presents an interesting idea. I wonder just how far we could stretch the "supper-club" or "casual dinner party" idea without running afoul of the law.....
"Honey, I've found a way to finance a kitchen remodel!"
--Ok, so my title is in poor taste, so to speak. I'm all about the puns today.