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Apple to build private restaurant to keep out snoopers

A planning request is granted for a 21,468-square-foot restaurant in Cupertino, Calif., where Apple employees can talk shop without being overheard.

The Google Street View of the corner in question. Note the spy casually walking on the right hand side.
Screenshot: Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I know that people like to laugh at Apple's rather paranoid sense of security.

This is principally because people like to laugh and because Apple's sense of security is a fine source of laughter. You know, in a "Dr. Strangelove" kind of way.

So I am delighted beyond secrecy to tell you that on Tuesday the company received approval from the Cupertino Planning Commission to build a restaurant not far from the Apple campus -- a restaurant (or some would say cafeteria) that will be for staff only.

I am grateful to The Next Web for unearthing these plans, ones that call for a total of 21,468 square feet to be apportioned for a building that is surely vital to Cupertino's future economy.

Naturally, the Cupertino Planning Commission is very concerned about the poor trees that might have to be uprooted to make way for this maximum security prison away from prison. But the Commission's sense of excitement was also palpable, as it offered approval.

Indeed, the San Jose Mercury News quoted commission Chairman Marty Miller as saying: "Just like everything Apple does, it has a flavor of very high quality to it and from an architectural standpoint, it's a good addition to the city,"

For those who happen to loiter in the area in search of architectural stimulation -- and I am not specifically indicating you might be employees of Samsung or Google -- the construction is at the corner of Bandley and Alves drives.

The facility will have two stories, meetings rooms, lounge areas, conference rooms, storage lockers, an underground parking lot, and, yes, even restrooms.

I cannot find evidence that there will also be a gym, including punch bag effigies of Eric Schmidt, Larry Page and that little green, portly Android mascot that reminds some of a modern garbage disposal.

You might scoff at my suggestion that this exclusive privacy is another example of Apple's sense of secrecy. You might not have been persuaded by my deep, undercover sleuthing to find Apple's spies at CES 2012.

So let me offer you the words of Dan Whisenhunt, Apple's director of real estate facilities.

At Tuesday's go-ahead meeting, he declared: "We like to provide a level of security so that people and employees can feel comfortable talking about their business, their research and whatever project they're engineering without fear of competition sort of overhearing their conversations."

But surely, when he says "security" he merely means that he doesn't want Apple's employees to get run over while in search of some distant burrito or pierogi.

Not quite. For he added: "That is a real issue today in Cupertino because we've got other companies here in our same business."

So there you have it. A restaurant is being built to stop the opposition from feeding at Apple's intellectual trough.

Some might wonder, though, what might happen if an Apple employee has a couple of drinks and leaves, say, a prototype of an iPhone 5 in the private restaurant. Might he have his drinking privileges suspended? Might he even be excluded from the club? Might there be a noticeboard of shame, suspended above the bar -- or even in the reception area?

This secrecy thing isn't so easy on the digestion.