The Real Reason This Restaurant Is Using Inner Tube Tables

After a long season of self-quarantine, restaurants are finally getting set to reopen to what will undoubtedly be great rejoicing — and, in some cases, to a few raised eyebrows. And in the latter instance, it seems the mid-Atlantic region is leading the nation in bizarro methods to promote social distancing while dining — first, we have this Virginia restaurant populating its dining room with mannequins, and now we have a bar and restaurant in a Maryland beach town implementing giant "bumper tables" on wheels.

Erin Cermak, the CEO of Baltimore-based Revolution Event Design & Production, told the Baltimore Sun that they came up with these inner tube tables as "a creative and fun way to keep everyone safe and compliant, but still bring back the social and festive and party aspect of the event." While Ocean City's Fish Tales has been the first restaurant to purchase these bumper tables, rolling them out (quite literally) in a demo session prior to re-opening for dine-in customers, Revolution says that they've had inquiries from restaurants nationwide — and even one unidentified professional sports franchise.

So how do the inner tube tables work?

These bumper tables are mobile — not fixed into place — and can be navigated around by way of the wheels each one has on its legs. The inner tubes are sufficiently large so even if you do bump another table, you'll still maintain that proper 6-feet distance from its occupant. Each table accommodates just one customer, so not really appropriate for romantic date nights — apparently there are no two-seater models available yet. The tables are said to fit those from 4 to 6 feet tall, so if you're on the very small or the very tall side, you may not find them too comfy. The tables also do not allow you to sit down.

There are a few more questions to which we've yet to find the answers. First of all, exactly how does one get into a table? More importantly, how easily — and quickly — can one get out? (Fish Tales is a bar, after all, and, well, you know how access to the bathroom becomes a priority after a few beers.) Also, just how safe are they? They do bear a kind of resemblance to those old baby walkers that were recalled after getting toddlers into trouble, and intoxicated adults on wheels... sounds like all kinds of ways things could go wrong. 

Still, it's certainly a unique — and hopefully fun — way to deal with socializing in the days of social distancing, so here's hoping those bumper tables work out for everybody.