Acclaimed Brooklyn steakhouse Peter Luger thinks it’s found a way to make indoor dining at 35 percent a little less awkward. Following in the footsteps of the Inn at Little Washington, the one-Michelin-starred steakhouse has outfitted its main dining room with celebrity mannequins as part of an inventive, and somewhat creepy, partnership with Madame Tussauds New York.
Beginning today, customers can slice into one of the restaurant’s porterhouse steaks under the watchful gaze of two-time Golden Globe recipient Jon Hamm. Wax figures of Audrey Hepburn and Jimmy Fallon are also seated in the restaurant, while journalist Al Roker is stationed at the entryway to direct customers to Peter Luger’s second floor. The mannequins will remain on premises through March 1, at which point they’ll return to the recently reopened Madame Tussauds in Midtown Manhattan.
“We’re excited to welcome diners back indoors at 35 percent, and thought this would be a fun, safe way to fill some of the seats that need to remain empty as we continue to fight the pandemic,” says Peter Luger vice president Daniel Turtel, in a statement.
If this is all sounding a little familiar, that’s because Peter Luger isn’t the first restaurant to outfit its indoor dining rooms with mannequins during the pandemic. (Though it may be the first to use celebrities.) Earlier in the pandemic, mannequins dressed in vintage, 1940s-era outfits appeared in the dining room of the Inn at Little Washington, the D.C. area’s showstopping three-Michelin-starred restaurant. Our colleagues at Eater D.C. correctly reported that the the move was both “theatrical” and “a little creepy.”
The wax figures are the latest in Peter Luger’s fight to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, an ongoing effort that’s moved the restaurant to offer delivery and accept credit cards for the first time in 133 years, among other changes. The restaurant is currently open for takeout, delivery, outdoor dining, and reduced capacity indoor dining.