Bistro Umbrellas - Patio Life on the Small

Bistro Umbrellas - Patio Life on the Small

First off, what exactly is a bistro umbrella?  Well, ask different people, and you get different answers.  That won't work for us here, we deal in answers, kinda sorta.

A bistro is a small restaurant, well, were small restaurants originating in Paris, France sometime around 1810 to 1815.  Merriam-Webster defines a bistro as:

a small or unpretentious restaurant

OK.  That's what we typically think of a bistro when we hear of it, though personally I've seen GIGANTIC "bistros" and wondered where all the fun went.

But back to the umbrella.  Traditionally, bistro's are known for the small tables created for the purpose of providing a place in a confined area, or small location, also known as, you guessed it, bistro tables.  These smaller tables where sometimes made of actual wine boxes, or where hand crafted for just the purpose of creating enough seating space to handle the usual patrons; poets and scholars and artists who where big on ideas, but kinda low in the cash department.

The bistro provided the best local to sit, have an inexpensive hot meal, and talk shop with contemporaries.  Paris street cafe's also offered this experience, and are a little more famous because of the all the fancy pictures of french fashionistas, cigarette smoking poets and critics.  In fact, for our purposes here, cafe's and bistro's have a lot in common.

Since the bistro's sat people at small tables, they also needed to cover them up.  Unfortunately, a typical market umbrella at the time was between 8 and 10 feet.  Didn't work.  (No duh)

bistro umbrella

Bistro Umbrella - Also known as a
7 foot market umbrella


Enter small patio umbrellas just large enough to cover patrons, but small enough not to crowd the other tables.  These umbrellas carry on the basic history of a market umbrella, but on a smaller size.  Typically made of wood, eventually here in the US, we upgraded with aluminum, and voila, the Bistro Umbrella is born.

Bistro Umbrellas are great choices for providing shade in smaller areas like apartment balconies or smaller patios.

We hope that brings you up to date on a bistro umbrella.

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