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Bouncing back: Maryland restaurant debuts ‘bumper tables’ amid virus

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Posted at 2:22 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 14:22:25-04

OCEAN CITY, Md. (AP) — Diners in a Maryland beach town are bouncing back into eating out amid the coronavirus pandemic with a little help from inflatable inner tubes on wheels.

About a dozen of the so-called “bumper tables” were rolled out at Fish Tales, a restaurant in Ocean City, Maryland, on Saturday, news outlets reported. The inflated tube tables were created by Baltimore-based company Revolution Event Design & Production to allow people to practice social distancing while eating and talking in outdoor settings.

The devices feature a hole in the middle to accommodate people around 4 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters) tall. Participants get a little spring in their step with wheels attached to the bottom for moving around — all while maintaining a 6-foot (2-meter) distance from each other.

Shawn Harman, the owner of Fish Tales, said he and his wife have purchased 10 bumper tables from Cermak’s company. Harman said he plans to order 40 more tables so customers can enjoy their food and remain distanced while dining in the restaurant’s parking lot.

“If you come in to get a pound of shrimp and a beer, you can stand in one of these and walk around and look at things and talk to people,” Harman said.

He said the reception to the bumper tables was positive when his family and friends took them out for a trial run outside his restaurant Saturday.

“There are other restaurants in other parts of the country that have contacted us to get information to order them,” Harman said.