Cafes, restaurants in Vilnius, Lithuania, become shop window for local fashion designers

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Cafes and restaurants became a platform on Thursday to showcase collections by local designers affected by the COVID-19 lockdown as the country has allowed bars, cafes and restaurants to operate under strict safety rules.

"Empty tables inside our restaurant look rather odd, and we don't have any way to remove them," said Bernie Ter Braak, owner of the local restaurant Cozy, who proposed the idea with local fashion designer Julija Janus.

"Therefore, we decided to reach out to our neighbors, fashion boutique stores, and invited them to use our empty tables to showcase their newest collections," the restaurant owner said.

A few dozen restaurants and cafes in Vilnius Old Town are participating in the initiative, which is planned to run until the end of May, according to Go Vilnius, the official development agency of the City of Vilnius, one of the event's organizers.

More than 60 mannequins dressed in fashion pieces of local designers and brands from 19 boutiques have been placed to fill the space between dining tables.

At each table, visitors can find information about the exhibited items and where each piece can be purchased.

"This way, restaurants expect to be able to maintain the required indoor social distancing while helping designers gain attention for this season's newest fashion trends," Go Vilnius wrote in its release.

Starting from Monday, cafes, bars, restaurants and other catering services in Lithuania have been allowed to resume indoor services provided they guarantee certain security requirements such as distances between tables, customer flow regulation, safety measures for workers, and limitation of working hours. 

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