With certain states making the bold move to reopen for dining, there’s been a lot of focus on what new precautionary measures will be introduced. There obviously isn’t much precedent for reopening amid a pandemic and enforcing proper social distancing, so a lot of establishments (and the states who govern them) are pretty much figuring it out as they go.

At one German cafe, that’s led to the recent introduction of pool noodle hats. Now we have an American answer: bumper tables.

That’s what’s going down at Ocean City, Maryland’s Fish Tales. The beach boardwalk-side bar and grill is still only open for takeout, but they’re already plotting their next move. According to a Facebook video they’ve shared, it looks like they could soon be keeping patrons six feet apart by placing them at the center of a circular table lined with an inner tube—essentially like bumper boats on dry land.

(Skip to the 4-minute mark to see what they look like in action).

New way to socialize safely! Only at Fish Tales!! No alcoholic beverages were consumed while filming this live feed. ?Thanks to our friends at Revolution Event Design and Production in Baltimore, MD for designing our tables.

The idea for these bumper tables with a three-foot radius (if my geometry is correct) actually comes from Baltimore-based Revolution Event Design and Production, who were looking for creative ways to keep business flowing at a time when there aren’t any events happening.

“We’re an event company, and events have taken a hard hit, so we’ve been trying to figure out a way that events and things can still happen,” Erin Cermak, one of the company’s owners told CBS Baltimore. Cermak notes that the bespoke bumper tables have received an “incredible reaction,” probably in part because it sure is a goofy and fun way to have a drink at a bar: “You get in the middle of them and you’re just happy,” she said.

There’s no official word from the state of Maryland about how restaurants and bars should reopen, but the fact that you’ll physically bump into another patron’s table and presumably bounce backward if you try to get within six feet means they should theoretically comply with social distancing orders if they’re cleaned properly. Just don’t try to take one of these things into the water.



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