Lithuania’s Capital City Is Seating Mannequins at Empty Restaurant Tables
Back in April, the mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, announced plans to open up some of the city’s public spaces for al fresco dining, allowing restaurants to have “outdoor cafés” in locations such as Cathedral Square. Now, as the country has eased restrictions on restaurants, cafés, and bars and allowed them to operate indoors (with social distancing measures), the capital city has come up with another creative solution—turning the empty restaurant tables into fashion displays.
Per an announcement from Go Vilnius, the city’s tourism agency, local restaurants and fashion designers have teamed up to showcase “this season’s fashion” on mannequins placed at the empty tables. The pieces come from 19 different boutiques, featuring work from local brands and designers; a few dozen restaurants and cafés in the city’s Old Town Glass Quarter are currently involved.
"Empty tables inside our restaurant look rather odd, and we don't have any way to remove them," local restaurant owner Bernie Ter Braak said in a statement. “Therefore, we decided to reach out to our neighbors, fashion boutique stores, and invited them to use our empty tables to showcase their newest collections. The news spread, and well-known designers joined this project, which keeps gaining interest across the city."
At each display, diners will find information about the products, as well as where they can buy them, too. So far, over 60 mannequins have been placed at the unused indoor tables. The collaboration is expected to run through the end of May.
The city isn’t the only one filling its empty seats with mannequins, either. When the Inn at Little Washington, the only three-starred Michelin restaurant in the D.C. area, reopens for dinner on May 29, “theatrically dressed” mannequins will be placed at empty tables. Since the restaurant needed to solve the problem of social distancing and reducing its occupancy by half, chef Patrick O’Connell said the solution seemed obvious, and would “allow plenty of space between real guests and elicit a few smiles and provide some fun photo ops.”