First Time in the US: Gulf Photo Plus is Coming to Seattle.

From the Black Ops Dept.:

For those of you looking for black straws to make a nifty grid spot, Panera Bread apparently uses them.

Look, I am not condoning any large-scale black straw thefts here. But at least try not to be obvious about it.

And at least buy a bagel or something while you're there.

UPDATE: Apparently Cheesecake Factory uses black straws, too. If you know where to find black straws, or want to see where else others have found them, hit the comments to find out.

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Blogger Jason Lee said...

Cheesecake Factory has black straws too ; )

July 13, 2007 1:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think harvey's use blackstraw too =)

July 13, 2007 2:16 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

I got an entire box of 400 for about 4 bucks at a restaurant supply store. For those of you in Seattle it was the Cash and Carry near the Fred Myers south of Ballard.

July 13, 2007 2:16 AM  
Anonymous Tobias said...

I picked up a batch of 1000 for $6 at ebay. Ongoing project right now, gluing those nifty straws for my elinchrome reflector.

July 13, 2007 2:59 AM  
Blogger Adam said...

For all you UK strobists, I might have found a source of these straws which basically would let me get hold of thousands of them....if you're interested, drop me an email to:

July 13, 2007 4:17 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

I stole a bunch from my friend (after asking of course) who bought them from Ikea. The pack had black and orange straws, so it may have been a Halloween time deal only.

July 13, 2007 4:23 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

to the german people here:
any large supply stores like metro, ratio, niggemann aso. sell them in 500 pieces bags ;-) .


July 13, 2007 5:04 AM  
Anonymous craig mcmaster said...

My kid swiped some for me from Boston Pizza, where he works

July 13, 2007 5:05 AM  
Blogger Graham said...

Ruby Tuesday's in Bangor Mall has em - my fiance wouldnt let me ask for any though ;)

July 13, 2007 6:55 AM  
Blogger Marten said...

For those who live in the Netherlands, I just found out that Xenos sell them. Just picked up a couple hundred for under four bucks.

July 13, 2007 7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got a whole bag full of them at Outback last night, waitress was glad to help.

July 13, 2007 7:26 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

Ruby Tuesday's and PF Chang's both use black straws. I've gotten a handful of straws from both places recently, just by asking the waitress. Try that before you swipe some - it's easier and you won't feel guilty. (Of course, you won't have the rush of jumping on and over tables and chairs to get away from the staff either...)

July 13, 2007 7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought a bunch at the local party store (iParty if you're in New England or Florida). They had a whole section of straws organized by color.

July 13, 2007 9:06 AM  
Anonymous art gardiner said...

Alternative to the black straws, the black/white "Coroplast" or "Stratocore" boards - a 20"x30" piece will set you back a whopping $4.29 - $0.43 ( w/Utrecht's "free" discount card) to equal $4.08 including tax. If you're in the DC area, Utrecht is located at 12th & I St., N.W.

As a visual aid for those of us that are right brained:
an example photo
~ courtesy of malikmata52

July 13, 2007 9:13 AM  
Anonymous schmee said...

Harvey's in Canada has black straws too.

July 13, 2007 9:24 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

New York Bar Store Item #42060775
Drinking Straws (7 3/4 inch) (Box of 700+) - Black
Price: $6.95
Quantity: 1
Inventory SKU: PTY-04-STRAW-BLACK-700
Date: 12/11/2006 10:05:45 PM

July 13, 2007 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Sharkey said...

I had a black straw at Houlihan's last night.

July 13, 2007 9:37 AM  
Blogger Mason Herring said...

Carrabba's Italian Grill also uses black straws, and the food is good too. I have about 12 straws so far. I can't seem to get the nerve up to ask the waitress for a "straw refill"...yet.

July 13, 2007 9:38 AM  
Anonymous Jeff Geerling said...

Panera's St. Louis locations are called 'St. Louis Bread Company' - don't be confused when you come here!

July 13, 2007 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Sybren said...

If you live in (or near) The Netherlands, you can go to Dirk III and get 180 black straws for no more than €0.99!

July 13, 2007 9:42 AM  
Blogger DJ said...

For the brits just walk into any pub... 90% of em use black straws... You may have to explain why you want them though.

The guy I asked was rather bemused and was expecting me to make something in front of him :lol:

July 13, 2007 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if there's Harvey's in the US, but the ones here in Canada use black straws. I've swiped quite a few of them, as much as the girlfriend begged me not to.

July 13, 2007 11:20 AM  
Blogger Lucas said...

Not sure if anyone said this one already, but Ruby Tuesday restaurants have them also. I asked my waitress kindly for a handful of straws (for science).

July 13, 2007 11:48 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

I called a local restruant supplier here in Rochester and found a box of 500 straws for 3 bucks. Unwrapped 7 3/4" long and small diameter. Not coffee stirers, but not McD's diameter either. 2.5mm i beleive.

July 13, 2007 12:14 PM  
Blogger Crayola Boy said...

If you are in Santa Cruz, CA, Lu-Lu Carpenter's coffee Shop uses black straws.

July 13, 2007 12:20 PM  
Blogger Leviathor said...

I've heard of the Cheesecake Factory having them, but didn't know Panera Bread had them--I guess I will be "eating" there later today.

For those in SE Michigan, the Ann Arbor Brewing Company has them, but the Grizzly Brewing Company does not. Also, bar-type restaurants will have a higher occurrence of black straws than other restaurants.

July 13, 2007 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I first read the origina article, I searched EVERYWHERE for a) black straws, and b) ones that were a little bigger diameter than normal. I agree Panera, Cheesecake factory... and I believe I got mine from Olive Garden. Also, I think Red Lobster uses them sometimes too.
As for aquiring them from Olive Garden, a little personality and *maybe* some extra tip, seemed to have gotten me a lunchbag full of straws!


July 13, 2007 12:51 PM  
Anonymous derJake said...

In Germany you can also get them from Kaufland or Kaufmarkt, about 200 in a pack, can't remember the price though. It was nothing too expensive.

July 13, 2007 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure my opinion is in the minority, but I suspect that white straws would work just as well.

The purpose of the straws is to collimate the light, sorta like a laser, without altering it's color.

Since white straws are only mildly translucent, they should work almost as well as the black and would be much easier to actually buy.

For the black straws, you might try party stores that have "Over-the-Hill" stuff to help all of us really old guys celebrate survival of another year.

July 13, 2007 1:44 PM  
Anonymous df said...

Smart and final, a restaurant supply retail outlet, has black straws. You get several hundred for around 6$, WAY more than most of us need.


July 13, 2007 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Applebee's also uses black straws. I work there and my manager let me have a box. I also know of bartenders commenting on people asking to have some, I guess I have some strobists around town ;)

July 13, 2007 4:42 PM  
Blogger Avlor said...

Restaurant supply stores. Looked mine up on google and called to make sure they had some. I was only out a couple bucks and I don't have to be in ninja mode.

July 13, 2007 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're too nervous to ask the waitress for some at a restaurant, as the manager if you can by some. They'll sell them to you, trust me. I work at Ruby Tuesday and people ask to buy weird things from us all the time.

Oh, and we definitely have black straws!

July 13, 2007 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, just went to my local Cash & Carry, aka Smart & Final, bought a box for $1.68. For $1.68, I would rather buy then try to snipe some from some restaurants.

July 13, 2007 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Hooter's in my area has black straws.

July 13, 2007 8:02 PM  
Anonymous Sean McCormack said...

I was meeting a friend for coffee today, but she was called in to work early. I scooted down to the bar and during my 2nd cup of tea, noticed the black straws on the counter! Of course she was only too happy to oblige me with black straws.

July 13, 2007 8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not the cheapest, but has them too, of course. Jumbo and slim. The price on 1500 isn't too bad, split it with a couple of other strobists.

July 13, 2007 10:37 PM  
Blogger Francis said...

Black Straws eh?

Just try any beach with those little bungalow bars. Wait until approx. 11PM. And commence digging of sand. You'll be able to make enough gridspots for a whole seminar.

July 13, 2007 10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

California has "Smart and Final" that sells straws of various color/sizes/etc

July 13, 2007 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez, guys. You can make your own black straws faster than going out to buy them. Take some black construction paper from your kids room and roll it up around a pencil. Apply a bit of UHU glue or whatever. Slip it off and start again. In minutes you can have as many as you need. If you want fancy then use a piece of black plastic.

Also I suspect the reason you want black is that it absorbs light that is travelling at an angle and leaves the light that is going out straight. Hence, it de-scatters the light, collimates it - you wouldn't get the same effect from white (I believe) as it would bounce more light.

July 14, 2007 2:33 PM  
Blogger wavelength said...


Amazon People.

July 14, 2007 6:11 PM  
Anonymous man schutt said...

red lobster does have. got mine from there, asking for "a handful of black straws": got fifty on a doggie bag, and a smile.

July 16, 2007 5:46 AM  
Blogger Quoc-Huy said...

I wen't to Wales this weekend and discover 2 pubs that have black straws:
The King's Head
Agincourt Square
Monmouth NP5 38T

The Prince of Wales
St Marys Street
Cardiff CF1 1FA

Wales is very nice!

July 17, 2007 6:17 PM  
Anonymous Gaby said...

Panera Bread is awesome :D I love thier Pumpkin Muffins. I just had to say that.

October 02, 2007 9:33 PM  

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