Md. restaurant unveils ‘bumper tables’ to help customers social distance

OCEAN CITY, Md. (WMDT/CNN) - Thanks to a Maryland restaurant, inner tubes could make for a fun new way to meet up with friends for happy hour in the future while remaining social distant.

Customers would stand in the middle of the custom-made inner tube tables but still be able to walk around and chat, thanks to the wheels, while maintaining a safe distance from others. (Source: John Middlebrook/CNN)

Fish Tales Bar & Grill in Ocean City, Maryland, unveiled 10 new social distancing tables customers will use to meet COVID-19 guidelines once the state gives the restaurant the green light for outdoor seating.

The tables are custom-made with an inner tube and wheels by Revolution Event Design and Production in Baltimore. Customers would stand in the middle but still be able to walk around and chat while maintaining a safe distance from others.

“It makes something fun out of something that has been so miserable, and it’s a little ray of hope that we can get back to some form of normalcy soon or, if not, have fun while it’s abnormal,” owner Donna Harman said.

The tables will be used for customers who are waiting for tables or would normally sit at the bar, CNN reports.

Donna Harman says the idea started with her cousin, an event planner who runs Revolution and was forced to shut down her business during the pandemic. They hope that by working together and producing “bumper tables” for other businesses, they’ll make it through this difficult time.

“Our goal for this year is to be here next year. It’s as simple as that,” Fish Tales owner Shawn Harman told CNN. “We just want to make sure our employees are taken care of, and they can make enough money to get through the winter.”

The Harmans hope to have about 30 tables in the future. They’re still figuring out how exactly customers will be able to reserve them.

Fish Tales started offering takeout service Friday after delaying its season opening, which usually happens around Easter, because of the pandemic, according to CNN. Maryland began reopening parts of the state the same day, but restaurants are still limited to offer delivery, takeout or drive-thru service.

Copyright 2020 WMDT, John Middlebrook via CNN. All rights reserved.