This Fall, Grab an OpenSeat in Virginia and Share a Meal with Someone New


To paraphrase William Butler Yeats, there are no strangers, only friends we haven’t yet met. In this spirit, Virginia Tourism and OpenTable are turning open seats into chance meetings at busy restaurants all across Virginia, which is famously “for lovers” — and, also, friends. More than 30 restaurants are participating in this fun program designed to bring the community together by allowing guests to be seated with another person they haven’t dined with before and forge a new connection.

To participate, book a reservation at one of the participating restaurants on OpenTable here. Before completing the reservation, simply write “OpenSeat” in the notes section. Groups of any size can participate. Just book for your party, and if there is another diner or diners that also opt in, you may be seated together. In return, you will receive a complimentary appetizer as you connect around the table and get to know one another.

“Virginia has quickly become one of the most celebrated destinations in the country for culinary enthusiasts,” said Rita McClenny, president and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “Visitors are traveling to Virginia to experience our world-class restaurants headed up by talented, award-winning chefs. The OpenSeat program allows diners to meet new people over a shared meal at our most beloved restaurants and discover for themselves why Virginia is for Food Lovers. We are thrilled to be partnering with OpenTable this fall on such a fun, innovative program that is sure to bring many new people together.”

Participating restaurants include some of the most notable dining destinations in Charlottesville, Richmond, Norfolk, Roanoke, Fairfax, and Alexandria, such as:

Alexander’s – Roanoke
Little Saint – Richmond
The Majestic – Alexandria
Mermaid Winery – Norfolk
Pasture – Richmond
Rappahannock – Richmond
RockSalt – Charlottesville

A full list of participating restaurants can be found at