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Maryland bar unveils coronavirus social distance drinking

Daniella Genovese

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How does a restaurant, bar or sports arena reopen and keep patrons and fans six feet apart?

Innertube tables on wheels.

That's the solution, Fish Tales in Ocean City, Maryland, created with Revolution Event Design and Production to welcome back its customers while keeping them socially distant.

"We thought, what could we engineer to put a smile on someone's face while keeping them safe and a cocktail in hand," Erin Cermak, owner of Revolution Events, told FOX Business Monday. "And this is what happened."

Thanks to the Baltimore-based event production team, when dine-in service operations resume in the Old Line State, the waterfront eatery will be deploying special "social distancing tables" to help customers socialize, some with a drink in hand, while keeping a healthy distance from each other.

The tube-top table rises about three feet from the ground, which is about the height of a kitchen counter. The tables are custom built with a PVC-made tabletop, an aluminum frame and a carrier for the inner tube. They can even be custom designed for an event or business.

It's a question business owners will need to answer for themselves as non-essential businesses begin to reopen after coronavirus pandemic restrictions are relaxed or lifted, in-service dining will shift for the foreseeable future because of protocols meant to limit the continued spread of COVID-19.

Cermak says they are already getting orders from scores of businesses, including ice cream shops, restaurants and event planning companies. Even Major League Baseball is trying to tap the company's services for other creative products and services.

"Everyone is just looking for a way to give their people some fun," she said.

Unbranded tables will cost upwards of $400 with an extra $100 to brand them. However, they can also be rented for about $200 a day.

The event planners already have 60 tables in production.

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Although Gov. Larry Hogan transitioned the state to a "Safer at Home" public health advisory on May 15, curbside pickup and delivery is still "highly encouraged."

However, it didn't stop a number of Revolution and Fish Tales employees from having a bit of fun in testing them out for when in-service operations resume.

Fish Tales, like many of its competitors, has limited operations to curbside and carryout service only. When restrictions lift, however, the eatery will be ready to serve up a good time -- six feet apart, of course.

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Cermak says the current environment has prompted the company to work on an arsenal of products that they never would have been able to, forcing them to think outside of the box in helping businesses welcome customers back in a fun and safe way.

"Necessity is the mother of invention," she added.

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