2/14/2012 03:53:00 PM

What's Up With: Bar Stools Attached to the Floor?

Bar stools at Weather Up TriBeCa
What's Up With...is a column in which we point out controversial dining trends or restaurant policies that we've noticed at bars or restaurants.

We've become (begrudgingly) used to cocktail lounges that enforce a "no standing" policy, if only because we enjoy sipping our drink without three people hovering behind us and trying to get the bartender's attention. Well, we've noticed that lounges - especially those that specialize in higher-end drinks - are taking things to the next level. It's not just "no standing" - it's "no moving your bar stool." Maybe it's to keep the design scheme from looking cluttered, but in drink dens like New York's PKNY and Weather-Up TriBeCa, the bar stools are actually bolted to the floor. This annoys us for a number of reasons:

1. Part of effective socializing at the bar is being able to position your stool so that you can optimize the group dynamic. If there's three of you sitting together, you move the stools to form a little triangle, so you don't have to talk over the person sitting in the middle. If you are wanting to get your flirt on during a date, you move your bar stools a little closer together to create a more intimate situation. When the seats are attached to the floor, it's no dice with any of these arrangements.

2. When you're over six feet tall, stationary bar stools can be difficult to get comfortable on - you have to get the perfect distance from the bar so you can still reach your drink without being squished in. When you're shorter than that, well, good luck with that.

 3. Not that we've had personal experience with this - but dismounting from a stationery bar stool after having a few tipples, say, to go to the bathroom, can be quite a challenge as you need to spin around, or step off in front and squeeze through.

We guess using bolts does prevent the horrible problem of bar-stool thievery, but other than that - let us move the stools!


  1. Agree! Can you put "misplaced coat hooks under the bar" as the next "what's up with" please? Why is it that A) there are never enough hooks B) they are always totally spaced weird?

  2. I don't get it. If you can't stand, then what are you supposed to do when the place is crowded? Go elsewhere? Doesn't seem like a good plan to me.