News from East Coast Chair & Barstool

East Coast Chair & Barstool Ice Bucket Challenge – Better Late Than Never!

You thought we forgot! Well we didn’t. We just needed some time to make sure that we could raise as much money as possible for this worthy cause.

Our Furniture is Coming to a Theater Near You, Debuts in Big Screen Movie

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When you head to the theaters on September 12, you may get a glimpse of our furniture on the big screen! Check out this article, and comment below if you’ll be catching our Gulf Coast tables and chairs in a theater near you!

The Arrogant Bean Shops Local and Loves It

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As an e-commerce company we deal with people from all over the United States. But we love being able to visit local customers and support their businesses whenever we can. The Arrogant Bean is a coffee shop that opened along Pittsburgh Road in Butler, PA, this May, not that far from our very own warehouse. So we took some time a few months after their initial purchase to see how things were going for them.

While talking with Shana, the owner, she expressed her passion for buying local. All of her fresh ingredients are purchased locally (except, of course for her Peruvian fair trade coffee beans). But it isn’t just her delicious ingredients that are local, almost all of the products she uses are, too. Including some of our furniture!

Shana says that her love of local started from her own childhood in a small West Virginia town. “We always bought local,” said Shana. The small business owner feels strongly about supporting the community in which you live. She seeks to continue that feel in her very own shop. “The girls that work here are wonderful. They know people by name and when they come through here they have their drinks ready. It gives them a personalized experience.”

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Shana wanted to support a local business and when she found us online she felt that it would be a good fit for her and her coffee shop. She and her husband were close enough to visit our showroom and were able to find the perfect fit for their store. They knew that they wanted black and orange chairs but weren’t sure if they were going to be able to find such a specific item. Fortunately we had some black Gladiator bar stools with orange vinyl seats and high top tables in stock. Upon reflecting on her experience, Shana said, “We were pleasantly surprised to see you had what we were looking for in stock! We’ve already shared you with friends!”

We love being able to make our customers happy and The Arrogant Bean has definitely made us happy with their delicious cannoli and easy access drive thru. So stop in and try their specials. Everything is baked fresh daily, and they post their next day’s menu on their Facebook page. While you’re there try out the furniture and give it a review here.

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How to Navigate Our Site

We love being able to offer as many products as we can. But we understand that because of the volume of products we offer our site is a little bit large. So to help out we created a video on how to navigate our site. You can watch it here and quickly find what you are looking for.

Happy New Year from East Coast Chair & Barstool

East Coast Chair & Barstool

As January quickly passes us all by, we wanted to wish you a happy and joyous new year!  Thank you to all of our regular blog readers.  We know 2013 brought us new friends and followers, and we also acknowledge those of you who have been loyal for years.  It’s great to have the support and encouragement as we continue to grow, bring you new exciting furniture pieces, and develop into a better all-around resource for bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and resorts.

Last year was very eventful for us.  We kicked off 2013 with a showroom grand opening in our new location, where we definitely felt the community’s love!  We also embarked in our very first tradeshow experience – exhibiting at our first show in March, followed by May and November shows in Vegas, Chicago, and NYC.  Through trials and tribulations, 2013 was our first full year of restaurant booth and table top production; we continue to evolve our processes to create beautiful restaurant furniture at low prices for you!  We also welcomed new staff throughout the year, growing our team to a total number of 23 staff.  As we moved into our second decade of business, we started to implement new policies and procedures to ensure consistent, professional, and safe practices for our team and our customers.

As we look forward to 2014, we celebrate a year filled with even more excitement!  With the launch of our newest store dedicated to Adirondack chairs {coming in February}, we know that 2014 is going to be bigger, brighter, and better than ever!

Please let us know via the Comments section below what you would like to see from us this year. What topics do you want our blog to cover? What helpful hints can we provide? We want to make this information as useful to you as possible.

From all of us at East Coast Chair & Barstool, Happy New Year!

PS: Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+, too!

3rd Annual Favorite Things | 2013 staff picks for this holiday season

Ho, Ho, Ho!

Happy holidays!  Doesn’t your bar or restaurant deserve something new and shiny this holiday season?  Every December, our staff pick out their favorite things from our wide selection of restaurant furniture.  Here are the tables, chairs, and bar stools that made the ranks on our list this year:

Staff Picks
 

 

“I love the Stella chair so much, I even named my dog after it!”

~Kerry  {Shop for Stella}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“My favorite items that we just got in this year are the vertical back wooden chair and bar stool in mahogany. I liked them when we custom-ordered them for one of our customers and am thrilled we now have them in stock!”

~Robyn {Shop for wooden vertical back chairs and bar stools}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I like Viktor in clear coat. He’s very rustic, yet modern…industrial chic!”

~Danelle {Shop for Viktor, available in clear coat, rust, or a custom finish}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Customers loved Simon at the tradeshow in New York, and although it may not be as sleek as its friend, Viktor, something about Simon just grabs you!”

~Janene {Simon is coming soon!}
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“There are many things I really like, but if I have to narrow it down, I’d choose the GLADIATOR full ladder back chair, bar stool, and swivel bar stool in silver.”

~Kim {Shop for our GLADIATOR chairs and bar stools}
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“My favorite things are the economy plank solid wood table tops. They are very nice and affordable. Someone with a champagne taste and a beer budget would love them!”

~Chris {Shop for economy plank wooden tables}
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The new 825 model bucket seat bar stool gives you the comfort of a bucket seat but has a sleek, modern look that makes it work well in many more restaurant designs.”

~Emily {Shop for bucket seat bar stools}

 

 

 

 

 

 

From all of us at East Coast Chair & Barstool, may your holiday season be bright and merry – and filled with all of your favorite things!

Tell us, what is YOUR favorite item from our list?

See what made our favorite things list in 2012 and in 2011!

TOLIX® Model A Chair History and Its Replica, Our “Viktor”

Have you been seeing a resurgence in industrial chic interior design? So have we!  The combination of cool metal furniture with warm wooden accents join forces to pull off something organic and awesome. Popular especially in cafes and bistros, the use of classic steel furniture is both vintage and urban.  We know what’s hot in restaurant design today, so we’ve created an inexpensive replica to the famous TOLIX® Company Model A chair that you’re seeing a lot of lately. This vintage seating design has inspired one of our newest furniture lines!  We call ours Viktor, but here’s a little history of how the Viktor came to be.  Because you shouldn’t have to pay tall prices for good design…agree?

According to the company’s website, the original chair was first created by French designer Xavier Pauchard (1880-1948) in 1934, who started the company TOLIX® to produce galvanized metal household items after WWI.  He soon began using sheet metal to build chairs and stools, and he trademarked his company’s brand in 1927.  The Model A chair was born, and matching stools soon followed.  Pauchard was entrepreneurial, and the furniture he built soon became popular mainstays across many residential and commercial settings, including offices, hospitals, museums, and cafe terraces.  Their international popularity peaked in the late 1950s, when the company’s 80 workers were producing 60,000 units annually.

The TOLIX® Company stayed in the Pauchard family until the early 21st Century. In 2004, Chantal Andriot bought the brand and began its revival.  She recruited new designers to re-invent the functionality of the vintage French industrial chair to meet today’s tastes and market expectations. With new technology and manufacturing processes in place, the Model A chair has once again found unfailing popularity across the globe.

Because many of the restaurant owners who turn to us for their furniture needs began asking about this same design, we talked to our manufacturers about creating a similar chair at a fraction of the price without infringing on the original artist’s label.  Enter Viktor. This chair is an affordable alternative to the name brand and is proof that we care about what our customers are looking for in terms of quality and style. We listened, so you can put the Viktor steel restaurant chair, bar stool, and backless bar stool to work in creating the industrial chic and urban atmosphere your restaurant decor demands.

Our Viktor line has been commercially weight tested and is made of 16-gauge rolled and stamped steel.  With a ten-step finishing process, the restaurant furniture shows off its characteristic abrasions and markings, which are topped off with a clear powder coat finish.  The full sigma welds ensure its industrial strength, and Viktor comes complete with non-marring rubber glides to protect your restaurant’s floor.  We also wanted to give restaurant owners the ease and flexibility by making sure that the steel restaurant chair could stack on top of one another. Our owners are really pleased with how well this chair has been designed to meet our customers’ aesthetic and functionality needs.

What’s more, we had a special employee-only naming competition internally at East Coast Chair & Barstool to name this new line. With a gift certificate on the line, one of our customer care specialists, Kerry, took the honor with her name recommendation of Viktor, which stuck.  Now when you see an industrial chic steel restaurant chair, you’ll just smile and think to yourself, “that’s Viktor!”

Are you interested in our other sources of inspiration? From following popular trends to creating original designs, East Coast Chair & Barstool continues to grow its own restaurant furniture lines. Let us know what you’re interested in learning about next!

Source:  http://www.tolix.fr/en/pages/1-history

See how the Viktor can be the center of your restaurant’s design!

Review of the 2013 National Restaurant Association Show

Now that we’ve had a chance to digest all the excitement (and endless food samples) of the 2013 National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show, we put our thoughts together to share this brief recap of the 4-day, fun-filled international restaurant and hospitality industry tradeshow.

Walking into the magnificent McCormick Place for the first time was breathtaking. Its design so elegant yet massive, as the floor-to-ceiling windows welcomed in natural light and beautiful views of both a quiet sailboat-painted Lake Michigan and also the urban skyline of nearby downtown Chicago. Long rows of escalators inside the Grand Concourse helped move people up and down the five levels and bring people from the North and South buildings together. (The center actually has four cutting edge buildings, connected by beautiful sky bridges.) With 2.6 million total square feet of exhibit space, 170 meeting rooms, and assembly seating for up to 18,000 people, McCormick Place is enormous and versatile, and it’s a great choice for events, such as the NRA Show.  Decorated with an eclectic art collection, with pieces by artists Dale Chihuly and Tim Prentice to name two, that speak to the city’s architecture and culture, the center intrigues the senses from inside and out.  And I haven’t even mentioned that I saw one McDonald’s, two Starbucks, a few souvenir shops, a market cafe, and a food court that offered convenience to those of us who were planted there for 9-hour days.

South Hall’s Level 3 was clearly the most coveted (and largest) exhibition space with big brands such as Coca-Cola, Rubbermaid, and Anheuser-Busch piquing attendee interest with large, flashy displays and enticing giveaways. Across the hall in the North Building, Levels 1 and 3 were also filled with industry-related exhibitor booths, all vying for the attention of the 58,000+ passer-byes. With over 2,000 booths in over 900 product categories, the tradeshow offerings ran the gamut from cheese, salsa, and wine to rapid cook ovens, silverware, and of course, restaurant furniture.  Whether it was marketing and HR resources or the latest in green technology, a restaurant owner could seek out many new tidbits to help them run an efficient, trendy, and profitable business.  It’s a four day event for a reason; it’s massive!  If you’re breaking ground on a new restaurant or have always dreamed about becoming a restauranteur, we would recommend attending the NRA Show in order to amass the excess of product information, resources, trends, and advice which is contained under one roof.  Beware, the surplus of food samples, types of equipment, flatware companies, industry statistics, and recommendations may become overwhelming (heck the 25 yogurt vendors alone could send you into a tizzy), but the opportunity to sort through all the information can be very beneficial in making educated business decisions.  Plus, you’ll bring home a bag filled with tchotchkes and schwag.

Among the exhibitors, you may find a surprise or two awaiting you. We rounded the corner once and found Captain Sig Hansen of the Deadliest Catch signing autographs and taking photos with big-grinned fans, like our very own Dave DiSanti.

In between walking the endless aisles of exhibitors, the NRA also hosted 70+ educational sessions.  These sessions covered topics such as menu engineering, social and overall marketing, economic outlooks, managing staff within your workplace culture, and just so much more.  Plus, attendees had the opportunity to hear from celebrity speakers, such as Anthony Bourdain and the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz.

From inside our booth, we were able to survey the show attendees on their need for restaurant furniture either now or in the future. What’s more, we had the chance to really talk with them, form some personal relationships, and get to know our target audience a little bit better.  Understanding their perspective (and long list of balls they juggle on a daily basis) helps us become more than just another vendor to them, but their ally as they start or manage their restaurant, their dream, and the way they make their living. We met many passionate people who are in the business of making great food, satisfying other people, and creating wonderful places to work or dine.  Smart and savvy, with custom options on their mind, today’s customer is helping drive our business where it needs to go into the future.  For those lessons, we’re grateful.

We had such a great time, we’ve already reserved our 2014 NRA Show booth!  We invite you to join us in the windy city next May 17-20. See ya there!

Did you attend this year’s show? Let us know what you thought!

See our photos from our trip here!

2013 Nightclub & Bar Show Recap

We here at East Coast Chair & Barstool are pleased to report on the 2013 Nightclub & Bar Show (NCB Show) in which we exhibited March 19-21, in Las Vegas.  It was our first trade show…ever!  The show was quite an experience, and we learned many good lessons, met many good people, and had a little bit of good fun, too.  After all, we were in Vegas!

The NCB Show kicked off with the first keynote speaker on Tuesday.  Founder of Samuel Adams and The Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, took stage with beer in hand to talk about how brewers and bar owners can hit the ground running.  This entrepreneur shared his story of how he grew his company from its beginnings in his kitchen, an original accounting system that depended on shoeboxes, and his vision to recreate how Americans felt about beer.  His passion was evident, and he kept the audience engaged with storytelling, photos, and a lot of humor!  He talked about his first sale, when he forgot to ask how many cases the bar wanted to order and went on to talk about how his company has grown.  Koch also talked about how even though Samuel Adams holds a small percentage of the beer market’s share, they have been successful in changing people’s attitudes about American-brewed beer, especially with the rise in the craft beer market.  The biggest takeaway we got from Koch’s speech was that you have to do something memorable, so people start to talk.  For instance, they originated the beer dunking tank; a dunking tank filled with beer that had been returned to the company for being stale.  By setting up a dunk tank, it showed their customers that they’d rather put people into stale beer than stale beer into people.  Even though the word “company” is in his company’s name, he talked about how there are no companies, just people who share common goals.  “Do something you love, and that’s the ultimate work-life balance,” said Koch.  With social media, everyone is talking about someone, and they might as well be talking about you, right?

On the second day of the NCB Show, speaker Nick Shepherd, CEO of T.G.I.Friday’s took the stage for his keynote, titled “Taking a Leap of Faith to Rebrand Your Venue.”  This was a great case study of how T.G.I.Friday’s have reinvented themselves through the flair of their customer-focused team members and mixology specialists. The company recently rebranded itself as the best corner bar in town, and Shepherd showed videos of how their local staff across the globe make the difference.  It was a positive, warm-and-fuzzy, and fun presentation, and it made us want to eat at T.G.I.Friday’s more often for that “Friday feeling” every day!

Following Shepherd’s speech, we rushed to see Nightclub & Bar Media Group’s President Jon Taffer (also from Spike’s Bar Rescue) and superstar CeeLo Green perform the ribbon cutting ceremony to open the exhibit floor.  A mad rush of bar and restaurant owners flooded the aisles of alcohol, music, technology, and of course, furniture vendors.  During the first day, 20,000 people circulated the show, and booth #319 (where our customer care specialists were working) showed a hustle and bustle all day long!

“My favorite part of the show was when our past customers stopped by to say hi,” said Janene DiSanti, co-owner.  “It was incredible validation to meet customers in person who shared that they’ve been happy with our products.”

Being a “dot com” (for argument sake, we’re really more than that) which ships to the 48 continental states, we seldom get to meet customers face-to-face, so this opportunity was really meaningful and rewarding to our staff.  Getting to know our customers and potential customers on a more personal level will help us serve people better in the future, and it was really enjoyable to make those personal connections with the people who are buying our bar and restaurant furniture.

Owner Dave DiSanti meets Bar Rescue's Jon Taffer during the 2013 Nightclub & Bar Show!

On Thursday, March 21, the closing day of the show, we were all attentive during Jon Taffer’s keynote.  We may have been a little star struck when Taffer took the stage – and then jumped off of it.  His unconventional style and loud personality kept us engaged (and awake) the entire time. “Fixing a business is easy. Fixing people is tough!” he shouted.  He echoed the thoughts of Koch and Shepherd when he spoke about hiring people who will raise the average and become brand ambassadors for your bar or restaurant.  He also talked about the product of a bar.  It’s not the food.  It’s not the cocktails.  In hospitality, the product is the emotional reaction that you create.  And the people you employ are part of delivering that reaction.  Taffer went on to talk about the anatomy of a Bar Rescue, the science of good menu design, and more.  He definitely had the crowd on the edges of their seats the entire time.

In addition to the keynotes, the three-day Nightclub & Bar Convention & Trade Show was chocked full with in-the-know speakers who all gave killer presentations for the attendees, as well.  We learned a lot and came home energized with fresh ideas and new perspectives.

When the show closed, we were all exhausted but at the same time, very excited after meeting so  many new people and spreading the word about our new products.  A big plus, the team left in our Pennsylvania office also had a successful week at home.  Overall, it was a wonderful first trade show experience!

Were you at the NCB Show? Comment below with your thoughts on the event!

Beans & Barstools: Grand Opening of Our New Showroom

We are really excited to announce the grand opening of our new showroom, and we’re calling our customers and our community to come check us out!

We’ll be hosting a morning coffee break open house on Thursday, January 31, 2013 from 9 to 11 a.m., at our new facility at 966 Perry Highway.  The event will be catered by Beans on Broad of Grove City, and guests will enjoy meeting all of the employees (including me!), be entered to win a door prize, and each receive a small gift of appreciation.  The Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce will perform a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. to welcome us to the neighborhood.  As many of our readers know, we recently relocated from a downtown Grove City location.

“We are thrilled to be in our new office and warehouse space!” exclaims Janene DiSanti, co-owner of East Coast Chair & Barstool.  “My husband, Dave, and I started this business in our Slippery Rock home ten years ago, and we have worked hard to grow what began as an eBay hobby. Today, we are fortunate to have a great team of staff and are excited for the opportunities our new, larger location is giving us.”

 

We are a national hospitality furniture retailer, and we are proud to be an authorized dealer of many national furniture manufacturers; plus, we directly import several commercial furniture product lines and have launched an in-house production.  Our staff of Amish craftsmen construct restaurant booths and solid wood tables from the workshop space in our new location.  Since moving in October, we’ve grown our in-house production, are now more convenient to the major interstates for shipping and receiving, and continue to expand our business.  Nearly doubling in staff size in 2012, we have 15 employees and ship to the 48 continental United States.  Selling to a range of business customers, from small corner bars to large theme parks, the company’s client base includes the Denver Broncos, the Mr. Hero restaurant chain, several Golden Corrals, and the local Springfield Restaurant Group, among others.

“The open house will give our new neighbors a chance to stop and see who we are and what we do,” explains Dave DiSanti, co-owner.  “I’m looking forward to meeting some new faces and letting the community know we are here.”

Click for our Beans & Barstools flyer.