You Can Now Dine With Mannequins to Make Social Distancing Less Awkward

The Inn at Little Washington has found a unique way to fill its empty seats

The Inn at Little Washington
The Inn at Little Washington
The Inn at Little Washington
By Bonnie Stiernberg / May 13, 2020 10:06 am

We all know that once restaurants are finally allowed to reopen their dining rooms to customers, things will look a little different at first. Most states will ease back into normalcy instead of diving right in, requiring restaurants to enforce social distancing by operating at half-capacity and spacing out customers to keep everyone a safe distance away from each other.

But while most of us are simply resigned to the fact that our first few times back inside a restaurant will likely include being seated between a bunch of empty tables, Virginia’s Inn at Little Washington has come up with a creative — if not slightly creepy — solution to make things feel less awkward. The high-end restaurant, which has three Michelin stars, plans to fill seats at empty tables with mannequins wearing vintage, 1940s-style clothing.

The look and feel of the mannequins will align “within the whimsical vein of the Inn’s reverently irreverent approach to hospitality,” according to a spokesperson for the restaurant. As Eater reports, the Inn at Little Washington is working with Arlington’s Signature Theater and Design Foundry to build the “sets.”

The restaurant plans to reopen for dinner on Friday, May 29, so if dining with a bunch of lifeless dolls dressed in anachronistic clothing sounds like fun and not the beginning of a horror film to you, you’ve only got about two more weeks to wait.

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