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View Full Version : Communal tables?



apicius9
08-19-2011, 09:17 PM
O.k., more front of the house... I am single and mostly don't mind going out and eating by myself. But somethimes I feel adventurous, and would not mind if restaurants had a communal table where you could sit with others/'strangers' who are at least a little bit open to communicate. I don't think I have even seen one of these out here on Oahu but I keep reading that they become more popular. Does anybody have any experience? Just wondering, from a pro standpoint - are they o.k.? Or do they cause any kind of problems? Just wondering why they aren't more popular.

Stefan

kalaeb
08-19-2011, 09:30 PM
O.k., more front of the house... I am single and mostly don't mind going out and eating by myself. But somethimes I feel adventurous, and would not mind if restaurants had a communal table where you could sit with others/'strangers' who are at least a little bit open to communicate. I don't think I have even seen one of these out here on Oahu but I keep reading that they become more popular. Does anybody have any experience? Just wondering, from a pro standpoint - are they o.k.? Or do they cause any kind of problems? Just wondering why they aren't more popular.

Stefan

I don't have communal tables per se, but I have a very tight space in which people are forced to sit in very close proximity to each other, often my seating is completly full and I have guest asking others to sit at vacant spaces on their tables and I have never had any issues.

Most often than not, those that ask to sit at other guest tables end up staying longer and talking more. It is pretty cool to see people interacting in some place other than online, especially the youth.

This is the same thing at bars, and it seems to work out pretty good.

Just my :2cents:

Eamon Burke
08-20-2011, 12:20 AM
My problem with communal tables is that usually that means "self-bused" and therefore they are never cleaned. Many people think it's cool to just eat however and walk away when you are done stuffing your face, and communal tables don't often come with quality waitstaff.

As far as promoting togetherness, there is a burger place here in DFW that has that kind of seating and it's noisy and crowded, and just a bunch of people that look like they are packed into a room trying to pretend to enjoy the concept.

Also, it is a great way to watch how people relate to each other, a lot like sitting in the back of a theater and watching people seat themselves.

I think communal settings are better served by an atmosphere that seems more like you are doing something together--high ceiling, small space, lots of windows, upbeat staff.

Salty dog
08-20-2011, 06:55 AM
The bar has become the comunal table. All solo men eat in the bar where as woman will sit demurely at a table. (Usually with a book)

JohnnyChance
08-21-2011, 12:04 AM
The bar has become the comunal table. All solo men eat in the bar where as woman will sit demurely at a table. (Usually with a book)

The title? "Please do not think about approaching me, you creep."

Our restaurant has communal tables in the bar, that way we can fit more people when bands play. Plus we have unique bands that draw a lot of people who are very interested in the band, so everyone there automatically has something in common.

jmforge
08-22-2011, 01:41 AM
Communal tables are normal in family type places in Germany, but from what I have seen, the thing most likely to happen over here is that someone will drag your furniture around the room to suit their fancy.

jheis
08-22-2011, 02:43 AM
Try a Basque restaurant.

Of course, there probably aren't too many in Hawaii...

James

WildBoar
08-22-2011, 05:19 PM
Some communal tables have popped up in small cafes and "tasting rooms" in the nothern virginia area. But they sure do not evoke the same openness/ communal feeling as I experienced a few years back at a large beer hall/ sausage restaurant in Zurich. An Irish 'pub' in the area had communal tables years ago, but eliminated them when they renovated and substantially raised food prices.

Stefan, I've only met you once (2010 ECG), but you strike me as a good person to sit with at one of those types of tables. I can't really say the same for myself unless the beer is flowing pretty well :shots:

BertMor
08-22-2011, 05:35 PM
The bar has become the comunal table. All solo men eat in the bar where as woman will sit demurely at a table. (Usually with a book)

Hopefully in the bar area so as to attract a likely young man.....

cnochef
09-21-2011, 08:51 AM
I love the communal tables at Schwartz's Deli in Montreal, I've always met interesting people from all over the world.

Miles
09-23-2011, 12:56 PM
Salty beat me to it. The bar is the communal table. One of my fondest dining memories was when we did an impromptu early drop in dinner at Keller's Bouchon and sat at the bar. We dined with locals and a few fellow travellers. Before we even had wine in front of us, we were chatting with the folks around us and as our meals progressed, we were all passing tastes of our respective dishes around. Generally, I find that when I dine at the bar, it's a decidedly social experience.

mr drinky
09-23-2011, 03:01 PM
+1 to the bar. My wife and I prefer it, so it isn't just for loners. With that said, I have had great communal table experiences at (as stated up thread) Basque restaurants and Italian Agroturism places.

k.

Mauro
10-14-2011, 08:04 AM
The bar has become the comunal table. All solo men eat in the bar where as woman will sit demurely at a table. (Usually with a book)
Salty, I was going to say the same thing, the bar is in essence, a communal table.