A Custom Walnut Bar Table

A Custom Walnut Bar Table

When we build furniture for commercial clients, it’s often to serve as the centerpiece and the showstopper. We’ll build a main conference table, or a table for the private dining room at a restaurant; the sort of piece that makes people stop and take notice. Perhaps nowhere, though, has the term “showstopper” been more appropriate than for this table. Located at the center of a bar and restaurant in Boston’s Theater District, this table has a serious presence in the room. With its deep chocolates and creamy caramels, this slab offers an interplay of tones that fits beautifully with the decor of the space around it. Add in the shimmering, sparkling blues of its bases, and you won’t find a table like it anywhere else.


Our client reached out asking about a table almost 12 feet long, at bar height. Aquick phone call made it clear that a live-edge table would be the way to go, largely because of the drama and dynamism inherent in slabs. With decor like this, a table needs to be able to hold its own visually. Claro walnut, the species you see here, was a great choice due exactly to the mix of colors featured in this piece. Some claro slabs come out in pure, deep, rich browns, while others show the streaking of lighter colors that make this one pop so effectively. 


Our client picked this slab from a number of contenders, and it was a fantastic choice. Not only did it fit the bill aesthetically, but it also offered us the flexibility to create a tabletop that did what the restaurant needed it to from a seating perspective. For a business like theirs, leaving dead space in the middle of the restaurant means sacrificing covers and potentially killing the ambiance as well. This table needed to create seatings, and fit the unique floor plan naturally.

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When we set out to do our layout for the slab, both factors were in mind. Even though we were going to use virtually the entire length of the slab, there were important decisions to be made about where to make cuts for width. The crotch created a natural spot for the table to slip past one of the lightposts in the restaurant, so we cut about a third of it off. The resulting fit allowed plenty of room for patrons and staff to walk past, while also creating space for people to sit or stand at either end of the table. Nothing without a reason.

The three steel bases on this table are some of the flashiest we’ve ever done, and they lend the whole piece a little magic, which is exactly what our client was after. Like all our metal bases, we designed and built them from scratch for the particular needs of the task at hand. That meant that they had to thread the needle of being too wide to accommodate comfortable seating, as we don’t want diners constantly banging their knees and ankles into the bases, while also providing all the stability a table this big – and tall, in particular – calls for. It’s the combination of all the little things together that makes a project sing, and we go to every effort to ensure they create something our clients couldn’t get anywhere else.