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Iconic Steakhouse Peter Luger Fills Its Empty Seats With Celebrity Mannequins From Madame Tussauds

Wax figures of Audrey Hepburn, Jon Hamm, Jimmy Fallon, and Al Roker will be stationed at the restaurant through March 1

Madame Tussauds Wax Figures Join Diners At Peter Luger Steakhouse To Help With Social Distancing
It’s Breakfast at Peter Luger’s through March 1
Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

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.

A wax figure resembling Jon Hamm stands at the bar of an American steakhouse in Brooklyn
Two-time Golden Globe recipient Jon Hamm clutches an old fashioned cocktail at the bar
Peter Luger [Official]
Two workers at a restaurant wearing gloves and masks stand beside a wax figure resembling journalist Al Roker
Journalist Al Roker greets customers at the entrance of Peter Luger
Peter Luger [Official]

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.