Chef using mannequins to promote social distancing in his restaurant

Chef using mannequins to promote social distancing in his restaurant

graemenicholson/iStock(WASHINGTON, Virginia) — The owner of Rappahannock County, Virginia’s Inn at Little Washington is meeting the governor’s mandate of only allowing restaurants to operate at 50 percent capacity when they’re allowed to open at the end the month, by filling the vacant tables with mannequins, according to The Washingtonian.

Chef Patrick O’Connell, a former college drama major, has been working with Shirlington’s Signature Theatre to get the faux humans costumed in 1940s-era garb, according to the newspaper.  Servers will even be instructed to pour them wine and to ask them about their evening.

The chef claims that the Inn’s location — Washington, Virginia — currently has no COVID-19 cases of which he is aware, and hopes to keep it that way.  He says his staff is conducting deep cleanings using infrared light, and he’s created custom-made masks bearing Marilyn Monroe smiles and George Washington chins.

“I think it would do people a world of good to reduce their anxiety level when they come out to a place which is still unaffected,” O’Connell tells the Washingtonian. “If you watch your television, you think that there isn’t such a place under a bubble.”

O’Connell adds that a friend told him: “Patrick, after all these years, your location finally paid off.”

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