When you are in the restaurant business you will do just about anything
to get the customers through the door. In some countries, particularly
in Asia, this has meant adding live animals to the dining room. Three
years ago the Thanks to Nature Cafe in Seoul, South Korea, added a couple of sheep
to the dining experience. With the year of the sheep starting on
February 19th, business has been going through the roof lately.
The two sheep-in-residence in the cafe have been attracting animal lovers and tourists from around the world anyway and now that the lunar calendar is bringing us the year of the sheep, these two bundles of fluff are really popular. Since people are likely to want to spend time with the animals during the year, the cafe is sitting pretty right now.
Owner Lee Kwang-ho is a bit mystified by the range of clientele being attracted to his cafe. Certainly he expected locals, and perhaps people from around the country, but he just isn't quite sure how the word about his place made it world-wide.
In South Korea the sheep represents kindness, humility, and respect for parents. It is a tradition in this year to visit sheep farms, but now many people are just planning to go to this restaurant. These two sheep are probably a lot cleaner and less smelly than those found on farms.
There is no word on how well-behaved the sheep are, but they must be to still be on the job. On the flip side of things, public health officials in the U.S. are probably breathing into paper bags to keep from hyper-ventilating over this.