Communal Table Dining Comments

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Communal Table Dining Comments

We need more information on communal table dining . . . [12/13/07]

Communal tables in restaurants are a great option for people no matter where they are in the scheme of things.


Considering taking the plunge dining at a communal table?

S. Irene Virbilia, Los Angeles Times restaurant critic's recent communal dining experience may be just the encouragement you need.

Looking for restaurants featuring counter/bar dining? Click: eating at the bar
Interested in restaurants featuring communal table dining? Click: eating with others

Subj: communal tables in the USA
Date: 12/13/07 3:10:17 11:13:03 EST

We need more information on communal tables...I live on Long Island, NY and am trying to convince many of our chefs/ owners to make a communal table available for solo would benefit them tremendously with increased business and would especially help them on "slow nights" Mon, Tues Wed nights, lunches and brunch time when we singles are always eating out and would like to sit with other solo diners rather than at a bar in front of the football on TV!!!!!!!

I am unable to find the list of restaurants that have communal tables....did you remove it from your site.?..if so I feel it is a very needed feature on the internet and hope you keep it active...
Chris Schmidt

"I'm all for communal tables in restaurants," said Lawrence Bivens who believes the option is a great one for people no matter where they are in the scheme of things.

Bivens (You may have noticed his work which focuses on senior issues, including aging, retirement planning and travel.) strive to balance the lonely aspects of his life as a writer. "I try to get out of the house every day and be social with people I don't know," he said.

Eating out alone helps him "get out amongst them" locally (Coastal Carolinas) and when he's on the road on assignment.

Bivens routinely carries a notebook or something he's working on. "It makes it easier to approach people. They don't mind talking about local issues or travel-related ones."

Even though he's an old hand at solo dining, Bivens admits that dining out alone in the evening remains awkward for him. "When I'm asked, 'Are you alone?' and 'Just you?' it reminds me of times when being social over a meal was easier."

His memories include: eating halls in college where you could "plop yourself down" next to someone who appeared interesting and traveling in other countries where dining out alone was commonplace.

Bivens concluded our interview with these observations:

"This business of eating alone is not so bad for people who have an 'alone' mindset. It's the transition that's tough going from being married/partnered to being single.

Having to change over from thinking about cooking for others to cooking for one can be disturbing. Discoveries like food packaged differently than what you're used to and cookware suddenly becoming too large are just a few of the challenges.

People undergoing such a passage would truly benefit from being able to join others around a communal table in a restaurant."

Published in the November/December 2000 issue of

Return To Top has long believed that eavesdropping is one of the major perks and pleasures of solo dining!

Excerpt from: "Drama, Served Up on A Plate," by Luis Alfaro (director of new play development at Center Theatre Group and a 1997 recipient of a MacArthur grant) Los Angeles Times April 3, 2005

"Nothing facilitates a great conversation more than the communal table or bench the ideal piece of eavesdropping furniture. It is on these upholstered confessionals that my writing got good."

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