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Intelligencer: November 22-29, 2004

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Raw on Raw
One restaurateur’s failed Craigslist-enabled fantasy: Nudie sushi in Times Square.
Sushi restaurant Oh! Raku had planned to take the naked-women-as-serving-dish craze (think $700-a-head parties attended by George Clooney), heretofore largely confined to the West Coast and Japan itself, to the masses over Thanksgiving by opening “Raycee Raku” on Times Square. Owner Ray Chin put an ad on Craigslist seeking “drop-dead gorgeous types,” with “no body hair,” “no crooked teeth or spacing (braces ok),” “firm bodies (no waifs),” “no acne,” “no striptease background,” “no tattoos,” “not opinionated,” “not squeamish, no peta causes, no body odor.” He got lots of responses, he says (the ad also mentioned “stock options”). Sadly for those seeking to skip the cranberry sauce this week, Chin had to change his plans “because of issues that arose.” Health-code issues? “That’s part of it.” A Department of Health spokesperson says, “The code doesn’t explicitly prohibit the serving of food off bare bodies, but we would consider it unsanitary and strongly discourage it.” Chin’s not sure when he’ll open, but says sushi will now be served by models, not on them—possibly in lingerie.
—Megan Miller


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