The word “Stamm” has a few meanings… it could directly be translated to Tree Trunk (as in Baumstamm) or Stem. And Tisch, of course, is Table. But together, Stammtisch is a "table for regulars." In Germany, it is quite common for one big table in a restaurant to be set aside for locals or regulars. Regulars can come and go, knowing that any time they want to sit down for a drink in their local establishment, there will be a spot for them. The size of the establishment doesn’t matter, “regulars” always have a spot. The GACSRI, of course, has its own Stammtisch in our Ratskeller, which is reserved for our longer-standing members.
History of the Stammtisch
Especially in rural areas and smaller villages of Germany, being part of the Stammtisch was often related to a certain social status. In the second half of the 19th century a Stammtisch typically consisted of local dignitaries such as the mayor, doctor, pharmacist, teacher, forester or wealthy farmers. Inviting a stranger to take a seat at the Stammtisch was a sign of extraordinary appreciation. This was similarly the case with types of regulars’ tables in cafes consisting of writers and artists. Over time, the Stammtisch opened up to “regular people” (the same regulars revolving through). As long as you lived in town , you were welcome at the Stammtisch for an evening drink or a round of Skat.
The GACSRI has its own Stammtisch in our Ratskeller and it is typically reserved for our longer-standing members. We ask all of our guests (both members and non-members) to respect the Stammtisch signage and not sit at these reserved tables.