Restaurants are opening back up post-lockdown and getting quite creative when it comes to enforcing social distancing between customers. Fish Tales Bar & Grill in Ocean City, Maryland bought new “bumper tables” to keep diners from getting too close.
Giant inner tubes are held up by legs on wheels, creating rolling tables that patrons stand in the center of. As customers wheel around and interact, they resemble the dining version of bumper cars.
Maryland began reopening last week under its multi-phased recovery plan, just like many other states. Under phase one, retail businesses, manufacturers, places of worship, and service businesses like hair salons are able to operate at limited capacity. Currently, restaurants are allowed to offer delivery, takeout, or drive-through service.
Fish Tales Bar & Grill owners Shawn and Donna Harman told CNN that they are using the tables for customers who are waiting to be seated or would typically sit at the bar.
“If you put the two tables together, you can’t get within 6 feet of each other — and it’s fun,” Donna Harman told CNN.
She bought the tables from her cousin, who runs Revolution Event and Design and Production in Baltimore. After discussing the idea, she ordered ten for the restaurant. The company hopes to sell more to other businesses to help with social distancing efforts as they reopen.
Fish Tales delayed its opening for the season because of the pandemic and lockdowns. Now that they are open for takeout and delivery, they hope to have enough outside seating to safely host the large amount of Memorial Day tourists they’re expecting.
“As far as the season goes, we don’t anticipate anywhere near a normal summer, and we’re prepared for that,” Donna Harman said.