Few of us know the history of restaurant booths sitting, although so many enjoy it! Let’s quickly review this enduring American custom, shall we?
Since the beginning of civilization, food has been prepared, served, and sold; nevertheless, there have never been any public eateries; instead, people have eaten at the owner’s table or in private dining rooms. The French created the first modern restaurant in the 18th century, which provided separate tables in the same dining area.
The English loved boxes for seats in churches and opera halls for families or private parties by the end of the 18th century, even though the United States had shed its colonial status. It was only logical that this preference would enter the newly opening restaurants. In 1796, a Boston, Massachusetts restaurant called “New Porter Cellar” published the first documented advertisement touting the privacy of box sitting.
Soon after, consumers requested more privacy in these boxes, and restaurants complied by offering curtains in front of the boxes. Any screen or curtain in front of a restaurant or tavern box was outlawed by the early 20th century due to concerns from other patrons who were disturbed by what might be happening behind those curtains, even though they were popular with some. In some localities, the box walls’ height was also restricted.
The “White Slave Commission,” a Boston anti-prostitution group, demanded that the city forbid public floor seating that was hidden from view within the institution in 1914.
The 1920s alcohol prohibition soothed the most morally conservative Americans’ concerns long enough to allow the box to reappear for that roaring decade. Naturally, when public drinking was allowed again following the repeal of prohibition in 1933, there were new calls for their demolition. However, by that point, they had grown too popular with diners, and restaurant owners were able to resist calls to remodel their interiors successfully. The booth in the restaurant was here to stay.
Though it has become a standard of American eating, the restaurant booth had modest beginnings. The booth first became popular when restaurants started to spring up along railway tracks in the late 19th century. The stalls were a practical method for diners to be seated, as these “diner cars” were intended to provide passengers with quick meals. The booths had the advantage of giving some seclusion to diners, who were sometimes exhausted from travel.
Within a short period, restaurants began to promote their “cozy and intimate” booth seating. Restaurant supply suppliers began to highlight leather and chrome bespoke restaurant booths in their promotional catalogs. Restaurant booths had been successful in becoming a staple of the American eating experience, even though they would still cause anxiety and distrust in the years to come.
Custom restaurant booths are still in demand in the twenty-first century, and restaurateurs and other industry experts can still buy American-made furniture from our facility in New Jersey. We opened our doors in 1999, and since then, we’ve worked to give consumers a wide range of booth styles, including regular, deuce, double, L-shape, 1/2 circle, and 3/4 circle.
Most of these types are entirely adaptable, allowing us to construct them in any size and with a selection of upholstery and metal finishes. The dining vehicle started to lose popularity in the early 20th century, but the booth persisted. To entice customers to stay longer and spend more money, restaurants began constructing booths. The booth is still a common choice among diners and restaurateurs today. Nothing beats sitting in a comfortable booth at your favorite restaurant, whether eating quickly or taking your time.