“Yeah, I love the drinks, but the company is a little wooden…”
As the UK begins to slowly open up and lockdown measures begin to ease, the need to ensure social distancing inside pubs, bars, and restaurants begins to occupy the foreground. Though it’ll be a while before we’re actually able to enjoy a drink inside these places, you can bet they’re already dreaming up ways to invite us back for a beer. However, few have come up with a plan quite so… unnerving as Mr Fogg’s Residence, which is planning to use Victorian-esque mannequins to occupy tables and keep people apart.
The not-at-all creepy mannequins take the same inspiration that the bar itself does: Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days. Each one is kitted out head to foot in Victorian garb, which lets them blend in pretty seamlessly with the hot air balloon and penny farthing hanging over the bar. The regulars are there not for the purpose of propping up the bar, but ensuring that there are no empty tables around which punters could congregate, or move to join bigger groups – thus running the risk of breaking the two-metre distancing guidelines.
I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether the mannequins are delightful additions or utterly haunting, but for anyone uneasy about mingling with them, you won’t need to do it just yet, as there’s currently no date for indoor bars and restaurants to reopen. The mannequins aren’t the only post-pandemic gimmick the bar group is planning, either: sister bar Cahoots is currently weighing up whether to use gas masks as face coverings, and over at Mr Fogg’s House of Botanicals, bartenders and waiters might end up dressed as beekeepers as a more playful form of PPE. Hey, it’s been a tough year, so I think we can all do with a little levity…
Also published on Medium.