A Michelin-starred Virginia restaurant is practicing social-distancing in a creative and unconventional way — by filling its seats with mannequins in retro, 1940s-style outfits, numerous sources reported.
The Inn at Little Washington — the D.C. area’s only restaurant with three Michelin stars (as of early 2020) — plans to open for dinner May 29, although it could open as early as May 15 for outdoor seating at 50 percent capacity under Virginia’s current reopening plan, Eater reported.
To comply with social distancing guidelines, luxury restaurant in northern Virginia will have 1940s-era mannequins occupying 50 percent of the tables. https://t.co/ahl3J7ukUP pic.twitter.com/7VzWHHIn8Q
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) May 13, 2020
But chef Patrick O’Connell is going to reopen the restaurant at the later date and will furnish the indoor empty tables in-between live customers with synthetic ones to make the experience feel less lonely. (Related: ‘Really, Really Frustrating’: NoVA Gym Owners Feel The Pain Of Delayed Reopening)
Servers will be instructed to pour the mannequins wine and ask them about their evening, according to the Washingtonian.
O’Connell says that Washington, Virginia, where the restaurant is located, currently has no coronavirus cases that he’s aware of. He hopes to keep the virus away despite the many guests his restaurant hosts that come from the DC area, the Washingtonian reported.
Democratic Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Wednesday that she has extended the city’s stay-at-home order through June 8 after the orders were set to expire May 15, according to NBC Washington.
Virginia has a total of 26,746 coronavirus cases and 927 deaths as of May 13, according to the state’s health department.