Thursday, December 1, 2016

Fine Dining Defined By Wooden Restaurant Booths

By George Robinson

The most expensive places to eat are probably not the true definers of fine dining. The judgment is often not for exclusivity but for things like well prepared and fresh local ingredients or food delicacies. One consideration is for relaxed and friendly atmospheres that can be appreciated and shared by everyone who happens to be there.

The wooden booth is a cultural item that is most used where people like to gather and recognize each other as friends. Across the country, wooden restaurant booths are familiar symbols for truly democratic lifestyles. These booths have so become part of the dining establishment that their absence will be noted anywhere.

They come in many styles, sizes and colors. The most common denominators are comfortable upholstery, high backs that provide some privacy and keep down noise, wood finishes, veneers and the like. Tables are often chosen as part of the package to conform with overall design and looks for a place.

Most restaurants will add certain perks to the mix. Owners sometimes add curtains for exclusive meets, outlets for computers or mobile phones, and cup holders. Also, there could be telephone or fax connections, ashtrays, and certainly company signage.

Restaurant owners or operators may have theirs custom made, or they can choose from extensive catalogues that are viewable online. The product range in this regard is broad and will fit any kind of specification. Mostly, the items on display or made to specifications are affordable, are durable if treated with reasonable care, and are easily repaired or remodeled.

This type of furniture is special to restaurants. Because most, if not all, are seen only in places that accept diners, which can be a restaurant, or a more informal public setting. Mostly, the combination is for an entrance, a good wooden bar where drinkers sit, and a complement of banquettes or booths on one side. Tables alone are perhaps most suited to diners, but their being common makes booths that much more unique on the landscape.

The country provides much of the wood used for building these classy pieces of furniture. For many, it is something proudly made by the people for natives of any one place. But there is the historical consideration to think of, one that says these used to be made of great hardwoods from Asia and put in the category of stable pieces that are built large.

In the end, it does not matter if the places where these are found are high end or more proletarian. As a matter of fact, some of the most famous and expensive places in cities nationwide use them as an integral part of ambience and identity. But there a lot of middle of the road places that bear witness to the popularity and serviceability of what is now a classic item in American dining.

There is reason to believe that booths were first used in fraternal club rooms and expensive restaurants. The origins might have more diverse sources. But it is wise to say that they remain recognizable furniture in the restaurant industry and offer such things as comfort, practicality and even nostalgia to diners.

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