June 08, 2011

5 Reasons I Love Community Tables at Restaurants

by: Taz Loomans


Last Sunday Paul and I had breakfast at La Grande Orange on 40th Street and Campbell. Our favorite place to sit there is the community table. The last time we sat there, we struck up a conversation with an 8-year-old and his mom.  And this time we chatted it up with a guy who noticed my “got coffee? seattle” t-shirt.  We ended up talking with him for over an hour!

The community table at breakfast last Sunday at La Grande Orange. Photo by the author.

This made me think about the beauty of community tables. Here are 5 reasons I love community tables:

1. They totally set you up to talk with your neighbor, hence the name – community table. This can be great for singles who’re looking to find a date, or simply couples or friends who wouldn’t mind conversing with someone else.

2. Community tables are usually higher than the regular dining tables.  This does two things, it makes the people sitting on the community table more visible, i.e., they can be seen more easily.  And vice-versa, people on the community table have a better vantage point of the restaurant as well because of their added height.  It’s all about seeing and being seen after all, isn’t it?

3.  A community table is not the same as a bar.  And it’s definitely not the same as a dining table.  It’s something in-between.  And thus it offers in-between types of experiences and interactions.

4. Community tables are usually opportunities for great design.  Case in point, my favorite community table at Delux Burger.

The community table at Delux Burger. Photo from DeluxBurger.com.

5.  They allow an alternative for someone to dine alone besides sitting at the bar. But watch out, you might not be alone for too long!

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4 Responses

  1. Kerry says:

    I was once at Postino alone when it got really busy, and two women asked if they could share my table and we had a nice conversation. One was European and she said they did it all the time in her home country.

    • Taz Loomans says:

      How cool is that Kerry? I think it feels a little like you’re traveling in a different city or country when you get to talk with strangers in restaurants or coffee shops.

  2. I think LGO is also my favorite community table, for the added bonus of looking right into the kitchen. I kind of wish they would kill the TV, though, IMHO it detracts and distracts.

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