I don’t know when this specific chair became the go-to chair of every casual dining establishment in America. I don’t know what they’re called—“bistro” chairs, maybe? What I do know is that I hate them, and I dread their very sight.
I don’t know why these cursed seats are suddenly the preferred chair of the restaurant industry. Judging by the type of place where you encounter these chairs—you know, overpriced “elevated” barbecue joints in major metropolitan areas and their ilk—there’s apparently a consensus that they evoke a sort of hip casualness.
But they are the very opposite of relaxing or casual. Every time I see one of these chairs I heave an annoyed little sigh. Not enough to turn around and leave, mind you. Just enough to vent some mild annoyance that I am going to spend the next hour either perched on the front of my chair, or with two pieces of metal digging into the tender, fleshy outer areas of my ass. It’s miserable!
Sure, in some ways, this chair is preferable to other chairs. It is rock-solid, until those wobbly shabby chic chairs you sometimes encounter at cutesy places that always make me feel like this is going to be the time I finally get dumped out on my ass on the floor. They also do not have armrests on the side, which means that they are, in some ways, more accessible—nobody is getting stuck in these things. It is nevertheless hard to think of the redeeming qualities of these chairs while trying to relax into the unforgiving embrace of those stupid metal bars.
But they aren’t just a problem for those of us with larger posteriors, as I discovered when I asked G/O Media photo director Elena Scotti for a stock photo. “Fuck those chairs,” she replied, noting that they make terrible outdoor chairs because they get hot and then they hurt. They also can be very cold when you first sit down, or if the dining establishment is over air-conditioned. Metal either feels too clinical or rustic in a bad way; “I feel like I need a tetanus shot after sitting in those chairs,” said Jezebel editor Julianne Escobedo Shepherd.
Another Jezebel staffer complained that they are always too low; another asked, “Has anyone ever been comfortable in a hard metal chair that digs into your back?” No! Nobody! Not one person! These chairs are terrible, and nobody likes them! Get them out of here!