I love this story.
A Houston businessman has an idea that could rid the world of having to use drink coasters and napkins to stabilize restaurant tables.
Steve Christian, owner of Houston burger institution Christian’s Tailgate Bar and Grill, believes so strongly in his invention that he sold interest in two of his restaurants, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, and is auditioning to get on an ABC reality show to make it succeed.
He says his patented device simply eliminates wobbly tables. It’s a catchy claim for something that costs around $20.
“Something I built in my garage outlasted everything else on the market,” Christian said of his Table Jack.
The invention, now being sold online, is already used at a number of Houston-area restaurants, including El Real Tex-Mex Cafe in the heart of Montrose and Mi Luna in Rice Village. The jack is also in use at a number of national restaurant chains, listed on the device’s official website.
The genesis of the Table Jack came when he opened his Midtown bar in the late ’90s and found that the flooring made tables unsteady. It took eight years and seven or so prototypes to get the jack that he has on the market today. The first jack debuted in Midtown in late 2008.
The device requires the installation of three glides to the bottom of three of the feet of a pedestal table. A small jack with a foot pedal is installed on the fourth foot. It allows for the table’s level to be adjusted as needed by stabilizing the three glides.
“I’ve probably spent thousands of hours engineering the jack,” Christian said. “And that number probably doesn’t do it justice.”
This is one of those “Why didn’t anyone think of this before?” stories. As someone who is easily annoyed by wobbly tables, I think this is a great idea. I hope he sells a billion of them.