ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Sustainable Cities Collective was relaunched as Smart Cities Dive in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates or images, may not have migrated over. For the latest in smart city news, check out the new Smart Cities Dive site or sign up for our daily newsletter.

5 Reasons I Love Community Tables at Restaurants

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

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!