A US restaurant is planning on reopening for dinner service later this month as Virginia begins phase one for non-essential businesses reopening – but some of its initial clientele might seem a little lifeless.

During the first phase of reopening, restaurants in the state will be allowed to have diners eat outside only, and patios are being limited to 50 per cent capacity.

However, The Inn at Little Washington, a Michelin 3-starred restaurant where the tasting menu starts at $US248 ($A384) per person, didn’t want its coveted tables to go to waste during the mandate.

So chef Patrick O’Connell decided to seat a different crew – mannequins dressed in the finest fashions.

Photos on the restaurant’s social media page show the decorated mannequins wearing coiffured wigs and 1940s-era tea-length dresses for the “women” while the male mannequins are buttoned up in three-piece suits with ties and hats.

The debonair dolls are positioned so they appear to be dining at the tables or sitting on couches, seemingly in conversation, and probably discussing their luck at snagging a seat at the award-winning restaurant.

All jokes – and mannequins – aside, Mr O’Connell told the Washingtonianthat his restaurant was taking the COVID-19 crisis seriously, and intends on keeping Washington, Virginia free of cases.

Rappahannock County, where Washington is located, currently has no confirmed deaths and only 10 positive cases.

“I think it would do people a world of good to reduce their anxiety level when they come out to a place which is still unaffected, because if you watch your television, you think that there isn’t such a place under a bubble,” Mr O’Connell said.

The chef added that his staff were conducting deep cleaning and would be wearing face masks featuring another special touch – each mask will be designed with either Marilyn Monroe’s signature smile or George Washington’s chin.

This article originally appeared on Fox News and has been reproduced with permission