Monday, October 22, 2012

Where is a comfortable restaurant chair?

Posted By on Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 9:40 AM


Years ago, I used to love to dine at Mumbo Jumbo in dowtown Atlanta. It was, I think, the first place that Shaun Doty made his impression on the city. The scene was subdued-hip and the decor was uniquely colorful. But there was a problem.

At my first meal, when I stood up to go to the restroom, my chair fell back, hitting the floor with a crashing sound. When I got up to leave, the same thing happened. After that, I learned to anticipate the embarrassment, but it was not unusual to see other people have the same experience.

I recalled that occurrence after my friend Ryan recently noted how uncommon comfortable chairs are in Atlanta restaurants. I've noticed this is especially true with many metal patio chairs. Backs may rock, making sitting upright at the table impossible. Sometimes otherwise comfortable arm chairs won't slide fully under the table. Both enhance the possibility that you will drop food on yourself.

Nothing drives me crazier than a chair or table that isn't level. Then, there are chairs that are just cheaply constructed and seem to be ergonomically designed for contortionists. I also loathe many banquettes. They tend to be set too far from the table or they completely ignore lower-back comfort.

I often eat at bars and the same kind of issues come up with stools. Fast food seating actually seems calculated to get you out of the restaurant ASAP.

Of course, good dining chairs are expensive — real expensive. Eater made that point last June when it listed the most comfortable chairs in New York.

I'm wondering if readers find the seating at any particular restaurants comfortable...or miserable.

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