These Bars Are Using Gas Masks, Beekeeping Suits and Victorian Mannequins to Reopen after Lockdown

Annie Goldsmith
Photo credit: Courtesy Inception Group

From Men's Health

In order to comply with social distancing requirements, some restaurants and bars are turning to, let's say, creative methods to fill their spaces and protect their staffers.

On July 4th, pubs, bars, and restaurants will be allowed to reopen in England, as long as they follow new social distancing guidelines in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Inception Group, a London hospitality group behind several popular bars and restaurants, is using these guidelines to make some interesting additions to their establishments.

First, at the Mayfair Mr. Fogg's Residence, visitors will be greeted by, what else, mannequins. Specifically, mannequins dressed as characters from Jules Verne’s 1872 novel, Around the World in 80 Days. The collection of Mr. Fogg's bars around London were inspired by the story, but have yet to take this theme so... literally. The life-sized dolls will stand at the bar and be seated at tables that would otherwise be left empty for social distancing purposes. We can't imagine the interactions bar-goers will have with these inanimate guests after, say, a few cocktails.

Photo credit: Courtesy Inception Group

While staffers at all restaurants will need to wear some sort of face mask, across town, Mr. Fogg’s House of Botanicals is taking traditional PPE (personal protective equipment) up a notch. Germaphobes will rejoice as they find waiters and bartenders at the nature-themed restaurant in full beekeeping suits, complete with head veils. Bees optional.

Photo credit: Courtesy Inception Group

To see another (probably excessive) PPE solution, head to Cahoots bar in Soho. There, you'll find bartenders equally prepared for COVID-19 and mustard gas as the 1940s-themed bar dresses their staffers in repurposed World War II gas masks.

Photo credit: Courtesy Inception Group

Charlie Gilkes, the co-founder of Inception Group, is putting all of these unique solutions in place to comply with new requirements while also staying true to the establishments' character and giving customers a window into a different world.

"Now more than ever before, people will need spaces that spark a sense of escapism and imagination," Gilkes said. "We are determined to adapt what we were doing successfully before to the new ways of operating, whilst staying true to what we do best: creating unique and memorable experiences."

He continued, "We do not want to welcome visitors back into spaces that feel sterile, devoid of personality and atmosphere because of the new measures." We don't think he has to worry.

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