Squatting in Australia: What’s Up With The Stools?


Tiny plastic stools at Chin Chin in Melbourne (photo by Brad A Johnson)

Hey Australia, what’s up with all those tiny stools? Got something against real chairs? 

Here’s a trend I couldn’t help but notice in Australia: tiny stools instead of chairs for the alfresco dining areas at bars and restaurants across the country. I’ve frequently squated on these sorts of stools in Southeast Asia, in dark alleyways and on crowded city sidewalks, where streetfood was being served by plucky owners who couldn’t afford a real brick-and-mortar shop. In cases such as that, the stools made perfect sense. But in rich, modern Australia, these little less-than-knee-high stools are being used in trendy, swanky and often very expensive restaurants and bars in chic, upmarket neighborhoods—inside and out! 


Tiny wooden stools inside Muum Maam in Sydney (photo by Brad A Johnson)

Have a look at what I’m talking about. They’re everywhere. And, frankly, I’m not a fan.I much prefer a chair with a back (which, fortunately, most of these places provide inside the restaurant)..


Tiny stools on the patio at Andaluz in Perth (photo by Brad A Johnson)


Tiny stools on the sidewalk at Nineteen Squares in Melbourne (photo by Brad A Johnson)


Tiny stools inside The Prince of Wales pub in Melbourne (photo by Brad A Johnson)


Tiny wooden and plastic stools at La Cholita in Perth (photo by Brad A Johnson)

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