Maryland Restaurant Floats Social Distancing Dining Plan: Inner Tube Tables : Coronavirus Live Updates Fish Tales Bar & Grill in Ocean City commissions tables for one that keep patrons 6 feet apart — that is when the restaurant can reopen. "It's like a big baby walker," owner Shawn Harman says.
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Maryland Restaurant Floats Social Distancing Dining Plan: Inner Tube Tables

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Maryland Restaurant Floats Social Distancing Dining Plan: Inner Tube Tables

Maryland Restaurant Floats Social Distancing Dining Plan: Inner Tube Tables

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We report next on a restaurant that's trying to find creative ways to socially distance customers. Shawn Harmon co-owns Fish Tales bar and grill in Ocean City, Md., and has brand-new tables that are different.

SHAWN HARMON: It's like a big baby walker (laughter). There's a large tractor inner tube that surrounds a doughnut-shaped countertop, I guess you would call it. So you're standing, essentially, in the middle of the doughnut hole.

INSKEEP: OK. The table is on wheels so the diners, once they're in there, can scoot around and bump into each other without getting too close. His staff tested these out.

(CHEERING)

HARMON: We've primarily seen - it's kind of a novelty. You know, it's a kind of out-of-the-box thinking that you have to do to survive now.

NOEL KING, HOST:

The idea came from his wife's cousin, who owns a company called Revolution Events in Baltimore. Erin Cermak says when the pandemic started, event planning stopped.

ERIN CERMAK: The idea was basically just trying to get ourselves back to events. And so we, you know, kind of drew out 6 foot on the ground just to kind of visualize it and then worked from there.

INSKEEP: The company is now making face shields and plexiglass dividers and inventions like the table.

HARMON: We don't want to go too fast and go backwards. Any way you look at it, that's foolish and more expensive than taking your time and doing it one time.

INSKEEP: And Shawn Harmon says, for now, the restaurant is doing more work for less money.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIROCRATIC'S "SLEEPYFACE")

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