A bistro is a small, personal dining area that is usually associated with pubs and small diners or cafes. The bistros roots began in France around 1815 during the time of the Russian Occupation. No one agrees completely about the origin of the term bistro, but the prevalent theory being that bistros started in the basement of French boarding homes that offered rooms for rent. The landlord would create a small kitchen and dining area in the basement of the home that they would open to both the tenants and the public. Homeowners found this to be a good supplement to their income. The other widely held belief was that the term bistro was Russian for quick. When a Russian soldier wanted fast service they would yell bistro!
Either way, the original meaning of the term bistro has been expanded to include modern bistro restaurants that server many customers, and certain types of dining room furniture that are of a certain style. A bistro table, for example, is usually smaller in size then its dining room counterparts and usually has a distinct old world style that fits its diminutive nature. These styles of bistro table and stool sets lend themselves beautifully to smaller dining spaces and breakfast areas. While there are several heights that will work for a bistro table, they are usually around thirty six inches tall. It is common to place pub type stools around a bistro table as they fit the style.
A derivative of the bistro table is the bar table. Bar tables are usually higher then bistro tables and will usually average thirty nine to forty one inches high. A bar table utilizes relatively taller bar stools as well, usually averaging thirty inches tall. For most people, the term bistro and bar table can be used interchangeably. That is alright since the style of both tables has a tendency to blend into each other. The roots of both styles share the same small, cozy atmosphere you would fine in a smaller caf or pub.
If you are in the market for a bistro or bar table you have many choices as the style is quite popular and you should be able to find several examples in your local furniture store and online. As with choosing any dining table, you need to find the balance between functionality and price. You can find used, higher quality bistro tables through web sites like Ebay and Craigslist. Finding an older, high quality, well maintained table can actually bring a small space alive as the character of a used bistro can add charm to just about any environment.
When deciding on a bistro or bar table to purchase, do not overlook the stools. Choosing the right stool is as important to the table itself. The stools must be the appropriate height, fit the dcor of the room and the table, be rigid and well built to last a long time, and most importantly, be comfortable. If at all possible it is better to purchase a bistro table with a matching set of stools at the same time. Unfortunately, this will not always be possible, so you may have to spend some time hunting around looking for a set of stools you can live with. The search will be well worth the time when you are enjoying your new table and stool set in your home.