A dining experience is about more than just the food, which is why it’s important to select high-end restaurant furniture that your patrons find to be both comfortable and well-designed. And that’s easy to do with the Woodard brand, a mainstay in the hospitality furniture industry for more than 150 years.
Woodard designs top of the line wrought iron tables, chairs, and more for restaurants, all with a keen eye for style that will help you separate your business from your competitors.
Let’s take a look into the history of the Woodard brand and its long-time recognition as a leader in the hospitality furniture industry—a history with a lot more twists and turns than you might expect!
Woodard Furniture History
The history of Woodard Furniture starts in the late 1860s, when Lynne E. Woodward and his three brothers founded Woodard Brothers in Owosso, Michigan. From the very beginning, the Woodward brothers focused on high-end wood furniture, as well as windows and door sashes and even caskets. (This foray into caskets didn’t end there—in 1882 the brothers created a second business, the Owosso Casket Company, which by 1920 was the largest casket producer in the world. And in fact, two U.S. presidents were buried in Owosso Casket Company caskets: William McKinley and Benjamin Harrison, though the company shut down in the 1940s.)
In 1904, Lynne Woodward died and his sons and son-in-law stepped in to take over the business, which by this point had faced various periods of growth and setbacks. These setbacks included everything from mill fires to the Spanish Flu, though the latter resulted in a big spike in sales of Owosso caskets.
By the 1930s, Woodard Furniture, along with everyone else, was facing the Great Depression. To cut costs, the company switched from creating wood furniture to creating metal outdoor furniture. 1940 saw the introduction of their most famous outdoor collection, the Orleans, followed by the release of their iconic Sculptura chair in 1956. And in 1978, Woodard released the Arnold Palmer collection—the very first wrought iron furniture set for contemporary use.
Today, Woodard Furniture is the leading manufacturer of wrought iron furniture for homes and hospitality businesses. With their roots firmly planted in the history of furniture design in the U.S. (you’ll find a Woodard Sculptura chair at the Smithsonian’s Cooper Hewitt!), Woodard is as popular now as they were in the early 20th century. And they’re one of the most trustworthy brands around for restaurant designers looking to incorporate a high-end look into their outdoor space.
Shop the Bistro Tables & Bases Woodard Collection
From vintage Woodard patio furniture to their most impressive modern wrought iron collections, we make it easy to find the Woodard pieces you want at a price that can’t be beaten. Choose Bistro Tables & Bases for all of your Woodard furniture needs, and bring a touch of exceptional style and unbeatable elegance to your restaurant’s patio.
Have a question about Woodard furniture? Get in touch! We’ll work with you to select the best Woodard furniture for your restaurant, and can provide plenty of helpful advice on maintaining wrought iron and keeping it looking its best.