Greg Blier, design director and founder of Los Angeles-based design firm, STUDIO UNLTD, echoes this sentiment. “We would get crucified if we didn’t use purse hooks in our design. Either no female was related to the project on [the] client or design side or it was really an oversight,” he relayed. “It’s inexcusable any more to be honest.”
Blier defines himself as a purse hook loyalist, claiming that other options -- like cubbies under tables -- tend to accumulate left-behind items. He believes that purse hooks are a “tried and true method.”
Despite this, Blier emphasizes that different type of restaurant will service customers in varying ways. For example, “with some concepts, comfort isn’t a necessity, such as fast casual. You don’t want people hanging out, so durability and aesthetics rule the day.” This can explain why some restaurants opt out of having purse hooks at all -- the space isn’t intended to necessarily feel homey.
That being said, purse hooks -- whether they’re in dimly lit bars, fast-casual spaces, or a high-end restaurant -- still seem to be the ultimate storage solution for all diners. Whether it’s stowing a bag, hanging a scarf, or a place to set a coat for the night, purse hooks have been unyieldingly helpful in dining and drinking spaces. And though Nguyen jokes that restaurants that lack purse hooks hate women, it’s important to acknowledge that the purse hooks benefit everyone; coats and scarves and hats and purses are genderless -- and need to be stowed somewhere.
Here is an open plea to restaurants and bars everywhere: please install purse hooks. Put them under your bars, at your tables, in your booths. Consider the functionality of your establishment, and how it can benefit from something as simple as a small hook.