Starbucks Chairs

It wasn't long before I traveled west to attend the outstanding Puzzle Pirates Party in San Francisco.

Pirate Parrrty Photos.

After the party, I set out to plant the chairs.

I absolutely don't recommend doing any kind of prank during the night, but I needed an early morning planting to give the chairs the best chance for reproduction.

On the corner of 5th and Howard, under the sign for the Burlington Coat Factory, I found a pretty good niche.

This location is kitty-corner to The Chieftan Pub.

There weren't any newspaper stands crowding, so there should be plenty of room to grow. I threw the cable through the chair legs and used my bolt cutters to crimp down the little connector.

I definitely don't recommend stalking around with bolt cutters in the middle of the night. You would look less suspicious with a ski mask over your face.

The chairs were now securely bound to the pole, ready to serve any pedestrian with a comfortable place to sit.

From time to time, I expect they will be folded and unfolded, which should generate energy, just like the door pump on a newspaper stand.


Still admiring my work, I flagged down a friendly couple and asked them to help me break in the chairs. They were happy to oblige. The girl snapped the photo.

Now, there is nothing to do but to sit and wait. I don't make it to the city as much as I used to, but I'll try to visit them from time to time, checking their progress.

I'm sure a wonderful adventure awaits this handsome couple of chairs... and hopefully... their offspring!


Sue shot a photo Tuesday night. Thanks Sue, for letting me know the chairs are doing great!


Wally from visited the chairs a few days later, and got a few more photos.






On July 21st, Daniela and her friend sat in the chairs:

We sat in the starbucks chairs last night at midnight. they were both folded up and placed on the ground for some reason. we set them up again and took a moment to relax before hitting the next pub.



Travis Rice and his wife Melissa visited the chairs a few days later, on vacation from Houston, visiting the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.






Jonathan Lassoff visited the chairs near the end of July.

I visited them and I took photos. When I got there they seemed to be laying down for some reason. I put them back up for everyone to sit on. I think that they may have been attracting some unsavories in the overnight or something.

Also, why does it say Ernie on the barcodes on the back I wonder?

I'm going to put all the photos online along with the photos from the TGI Fridays outing on my server. They are like 1 meg each at full resolution, so you may want to resize them. I was having some trouble sending them with Gmail, so I'll put them online in my super-secret directory.

(super-secret directory hidden)


Paul visited the Chairs, and sent a photo.

Hey Rob,

I find myself in San Francisco for a couple days, and I'm staying just a few blocks from the infamous chairs prank. Of course, I had to stop by and visit! You'll be glad to know that they are still safe and sound, but sadly there are no signs that they are producing any offspring yet. Anyway, I attached a couple pictures... not great, but the best I could do with a self-portrait.

See ya,



Scott Shultz visited on August 4th:

The filter at work blocked your site for the past couple of months for an obvious and stupid reason, no doubt. And so I didn't read about the chair prank until yesterday when I randomly tried to check the filter again. I eat at the Metreon about once a week and the chairs were only a block further on, and so as of August 4, I can report that the chairs are still there (yay!) but nothing else is chained to the pole (boo!). I had a seat for a moment. They're facing west currently.

Do we know the gestation period for folding chairs or the number of sexes in the species? Humans, after all, require seven sexes for reproduction ( which is nothing compared to the over 36,000 sexes that mushrooms have ( In any case, your pair of chairs has not yet reproduced.

Anne Raina visited around August 15th.
Dear Rob,
My name is Anne and I am from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
I am an avid reader of your website, and when I read about the Starbucks Chairs, I just knew I HAD to visit them. Conveiniently, our family had recently planned a trip to San Francisco, so I was in luck!
On August 15th (I think), I got to sit in your chairs. It was the highlight of my whole vacation.
Attached are 2 pictures, one of me on the chairs, and another of the chairs.
I hope you like them.
Sincerely, Anne Raina
But Scott's letter had me worried.

Aug. 11. The chairs are still there. No progeny. 
The Starbucks Logos have been mostly obscured with
charcoal matte spray paint. Whether this change in
coloration is part of the mating process, a sign of
gestation, an indication of the declining health of
the chairs, or a hate-act by the notorious
forces of San Francisco remains to be seen.

-Scott Schulz

And Allegra visited on August 13th with some troubling news:

Hello, Rob! Allegra here, reporting back from my visit with the chairs.

First, the bad news: The chairs have not yet multiplied. I wonder if
wood pulp might serve as a sort of reproductive catalyst for robots;
this would serve as a possible explanation for the comparative ability
of newspaper boxes to reproduce, while the chairs fail to increase.

Bad news, part two: neither Rachel nor I brought a camera when we met
at the chairs after work on Friday 8/13. I don't even own one, sad to
say. And Rachel had planned to bring one, but somehow her camera
didn't make it into her bag. If you were superstitious, you might
blame the infamous Friday the Thirteenth bad luck for the lack of
camera, but I prefer to blame human error.

The chairs are still in place, firmly attached, but with a notable
difference: some anti-capitalist activist, Peet's Coffee & Tea
advocate, or mermaid-hating ichthyophobe has used black spray paint to
neatly obscure the Starbucks logo on each of the chairs! The rest of
each chair is free of graffiti and stickers, and the chairs still
provide a nice resting place for a pair of weary pedestrians, to
refresh them before they had out for Thai food and drinks at
Zeitgeist, but no longer do the chairs carry anybody's logo,
legitimate or fake.

Keep up the good pranks, Rob!
Allegra Lundyworf

Wally got these photos on the 14th!

Hi Rob,

I was in SF again last Saturday, 14th and saw the chairs again. This time, they were different.

Somebody must have had a grudge against chairs procreating in public and they ruined your Starbucks artwork...

Link to the pics:



Ryan Miller visited on August 20th:


This weekend 8/20 I was attending a rehearsal dinner at Bucca De Beppo right down the street from the chairs.  They are still there, however the Starbucks Logo Enforcement Units have found them.    


Thanks for the fun, Ryan Miller.

And Matt visited after that.

I took a shot of the chairs this weekend. Someone painted over the logo, but otherwise they're fine:



Check out his photo from Sept. 1!

My good friend and extreme pumpkins partner Tom Nardone couldn't visit the chairs in San Francisco, but he went looking in Ferndale, and found a good one!



Unfortunately, the chairs were eventually removed. Thanks to everyone that helped, and visited the chairs!


In January of 2005, Mystery chairs emerged in Thailand.

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