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AROUND HOME : Drucker Outdoor Cafe Chairs

February 05, 1989|DAVID LASKER

SCENE I: A Parisian cafe, circa 1889.

Scene II: Moustache Cafe, Los Angeles, 1989.

Scene III: Sun deck, your place.

The stage prop common to all three locations: wicker cafe chairs still made in France by century-old Creations Drucker, newly fashionable after decades of neglect. The chair that once braced boulevardiers as they quaffed absinthe can now be seen at luxury restaurants such as New York's trendy China Grill, where its looks befit the eatery's Chinese/California cuisine. Locally, the chair is part of the decor at smart local eateries such as the Moustache Cafe on Melrose Avenue. Indeed, the big, overscaled look of Drucker chairs and their natural materials exemplify California style.

Well, not quite natural materials. Along the way, Drucker has improved on the original rattan and wicker caning with Rilsan, a weatherproof polymer derived from castor oil. "It's the ideal material for outdoor furniture," says Lyman Drake of Santa Ana-based Lyman Drake Antiques, Drucker's West Coast distributor. "It won't grow brittle or fade with exposure to the sun. It has just the right amount of springiness--not too saggy and not too hard."

Pieces are made to order, and customers can mix and match from among dozens of caning colors and patterns (including checkerboard) and configurations (chair, love seat, chaise longue, bar stool, bench). "Clients come up with the boldest color combinations. Some even scare us," Drake says. With prices starting at $380, Drucker cafe chairs offer an affordable way to transform your patio into Moulin-Rouge-sur-la-Big-Sur.

Drucker cafe furniture is available exclusively through Lyman Drake Antiques--wholesale to trade and open to public. The address is 2901 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, 92704. Open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; telephone (714) 979-2811.

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