Communal dining is catching on

A fascinating article from the San Francisco Chronicle:

From trendy neighborhood restaurants in San Francisco to casual breakfast spots in the East Bay, communal tables are cropping up everywhere. Designers are putting the big family-style tables into places such as Salt House in San Francisco, West County Grill in Sebastopol and A Cote in Oakland.

Experts say that in these isolated times, people yearn to break bread with neighbors. Some are looking to make friends — and even long-term relationships — while others just want to feel a sense of community.

Many credit restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow and designer Philippe Starck for igniting the trend. Ten years ago the duo made a splash with Asia de Cuba in New York City. The main attraction wasn’t the food, the drinks or even the service. It was the 25-foot-long table placed in the middle of the dining room, where 36 strangers could share a meal together and possibly leave as friends.

“A reporter from London came to write about the restaurant,” says Chodorow. “He expected to hate the sharing table. He sat there, fell in love and nearly missed his flight home.” Now diners are actually reserving seats there, says Chodorow.

I love the different ways community is creeping back into our culture as people look for ways to connect. I’m also excited about the potential for churches to do the same thing, through coffee shops, restaurants, and more. The possibilities are endless…


2 responses to “Communal dining is catching on”

  1. That’s really interesting.

    I think there’s a part of me that WOULD HATE going to a place like that…but at the same time i like the concept. I want to chew on it somemore.

  2. Yeah, I think I’d be hesitant at first, but I think it’d be a fun opportunity at times. Maybe not the date night, but other nights :).

    I’d like to hear more of your thoughts once they’re chewed…

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