Friday, 3 March 2017

Posing a problem

In my recent write-up of the James Watts in Cheadle, I complained about how high-level “posing tables” accounted for more than half of the seating in the pub. This is a plague that is afflicting more and more pubs nowadays. I suppose the thinking is that they appear modern and trendy, conjuring up visions of bright young things disporting their long, skinny-jean clad legs in a fashionable, cutting-edge bar. But, more often than not, you end up with plump middle-aged folk perched incongruously on high stools.

They spoil the look of the interior of a pub and create an artificial division between drinkers by putting them on two levels. You might say that some people prefer them and should be given the choice, but would anyone walk out of a pub if there were none, and did anyone ever suggest them when asked what they would like to see in a pub refurbishment? It also seems that they appeal to people with an exaggerated sense of their own importance who want to be the centre of attention. The formal name for them is “poseur tables”, which rather sums up their attraction.

Around 1990, there was a fad for putting raised seating areas in pubs to break up large areas of flat floor. However, the realisation eventually dawned that these were very unfriendly to the disabled, by effectively closing off a substantial chunk of the pub to them. You certainly don’t see them in new schemes, and I can think of a few pubs that have had them removed during refurbishments.

Much the same is true of posing tables, which will place people in wheelchairs at a lower level than their friends, and also pose a challenge for older customers with creaky joints. They’re an ugly abomination that should have no place in pubs, and the sooner they’re all consigned to the skip the better. Significantly, I’ve never yet seen a posing table in a Sam Smith’s pub.

17 comments:

  1. Whether it's in the mind or the joints, they're just not very comfortable, particularly on the back.

    Yours, an old man from Cambridge.

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  2. Can't think of a better way to keep cheapo bitter drinking old codgers out of a pub and keep the clientele affluent high spending young people.

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    1. Also does a good job of keeping cripples out and stopping them getting in the way

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    2. The raspberries haven't two brass farthings since the benefit cuts so let 'em go sit with Mudge & the codgers in the cheapo "proper" pub.

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  3. A few years back, the Bulls Head opposite Man Picc had high tables with heavy stools, whose seats were supported by one iron centre post. A horizontal iron foot rest was attached part way down the centre post. This meant my feet were directly underneath my body and encouraged me to adopt a good posture - contributed to by the high table. If I went in with a bad back, the combination of three pints and the orthopedic seating always cured it. Thanks for reading.

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    1. From experience, the seating in the photo would exacerbate my bad back. The foot rests are too far forward.

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  4. My local Spoons has them, and they are very often all taken (by plump middle-aged folk) when the normal seating is unoccupied: people do like them.

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  5. I must admit I find it hard to get worked up either way about chair height. I certainly don't recognise this caricature of them as being "posing" tables. They're just normal tables, but taller - in fact the same height as the bar, and they allow you to converse more easily with people who are stood at the bar, sat or leaning.

    For this reason, they tend to be placed close to the bar to enable convivial conversation.

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    1. Exactly. One could argue that ordinary seats "create an artificial division between drinkers by putting them on two levels" -

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  6. The Blocked Dwarf3 March 2017 at 18:14

    Yet again another good example of publicans ignoring Granddad Dwarf's Words Of Wisdom about 'publicans not selling beer but a feeling of comfort' and for once a non-smoking verbot example.
    I see those poser chairs and think 'breakfast bar'- you know, the 'must have' of every housewife in a bungalow in Surrey in the late 70s.
    I defy anyone to sit at such a table (openly offensive towards us dwarves I might add)and feel 'comfortable', 'at home' or 'at ease and wanting to linger'. They are designed for people who want to get as much over priced fruit cordial based alcohol into themselves as they can in a short space of time (about the length of time needed to eat a bowl of Fair Trade cornflakes) whilst trying to get into Iona-from-HR's knickers. Ok ya?

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  7. Apart from sometimes having to navigate around them, I haven’t got a problem with “posing tables” per se; although given my short legs I find them awkward to “descend” from. I agree they can create a division in a pub, but this is more a physical barrier, rather than one of putting drinkers on “two levels”.

    You may be interested to know we came upon a few of them in Munich, the other week.

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    1. The Blocked Dwarf5 March 2017 at 00:55

      "
      You may be interested to know we came upon a few of them in Munich, the other week."

      Colour me unsurprised. Munich is almost 'trendier' than Berlin. Laptops und Lederhosen vibe. Chances are those pubs you mention no longer had the once obligatory picture of Louis The Loop on the wall neither.

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    2. You can tell me I haven't lived, but I don't recall ever seeing a picture of Mad King Ludwig on the wall of a Bavarian pub, despite having been in plenty.

      Agreed, Munich has become "trendy", but then it is a major centre for publishing and all sorts of "media" stuff.

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  8. I spent many an evening , and weekend day sessuon,at a bar stool at the actual bar of my local. I am sure many people have, and found it very comfortable indeed.

    Why would a table at the same height as the bar, with the same seating be uncomfatable?

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    1. And pubs which offer posing tables tend to have fewer bar liggers hanging around the bar.

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  9. The Cock, a Sam Smith's pub just north of Oxford Street, has these daft chairs. Nobody, young or old, baggy or tight of trouser, ever chooses them unless there's no alternative.

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  10. The reason I've been given for them is that they place seated drinkers at the same height as those who wish to stand. Personally, I think they're an abomination, and hugely uncomfortable, as are bar stools (plus, IMO, anything that actually encourages people so sit in the way of those wishing to purchase beer is just plain wrong). I've also observed that generally, they only get used if all the other seats are occupied, and I've walked out of pubs where it's the only option.

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