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Silent diners: Va. chef plans to seat mannequins at his empty tables

The Inn at Little Washington is known for its creative touches. The restaurant hopes to reopen May 29 -- with new virus restrictions in place.

Dining rooms look a little lonely these days under new coronavirus restrictions. Customers have to sit far apart, and only 50 percent of the room can be used for business.

A famous northern Virginia restaurant, however, has come up with a way to make their place more cozy.

Famed -- and creative -- chef Patrick O'Connell at the Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Va., plans to place mannequins at the tables where he can't seat customers when the restaurant reopens May 29.

Credit: Inn at Little Washington
Mannequins to be used at famed Inn at Little Washington restaurant in Virginia.

WUSA-TV in Washington, DC reports O'Connell partnered with Arlington, Va.'s Signature Theater and Landover's Design Foundry to stage the scene and dress the mannequins.

They'll be very well dressed even if they don't say much.  That's a good thing, considering the Inn near the Blue Ridge Mountains gets three stars from the Michelin Guide.

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The mannequins will wear clothing from the 1940s, complete with seersucker suits, fedoras, straw boater hats, shoulder pads and knee-length A-line dresses, according to WUSA.

Don't think the waiters will ignore their silent guests.

Credit: Inn at Little Washington

An Inn spokesperson told WUSA the staff will check on the mannequins to ensure the food and service are to their liking.

"It’s all part of the theatrical show at The Inn at Little Washington that the servers are very much a part of," the Inn's spokesperson told WUSA.

Creepy? Maybe. Clever? Definitely.

Reservations are now being accepted.