No customers? No problem. Restaurant owner protests lockdown orders by filling business with stuffed pandas during pandemic

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GERMANY, (CBS) It’s not every day a restaurant finds itself serving a packed room of panda bears, especially ones who are partial to a cold corona or two.

But as Germans try to bear out the corona pandemic as best they can, a humorous take on the restrictions is providing passers-by in Frankfurt with some festive cheer.

Guiseppe Fichera, the owner of a Frankfurt restaurant is staging a protest against the coronavirus lockdown in Germany by filling his tables with a hundred stuffed toy pandas, in a play on the word pandemic, ‘panda-mic’.

German officials are expected on Wednesday to agree to extend until Dec. 20 a “lockdown light” they imposed on Nov. 2 that means bars, restaurants and entertainment venues must stay closed, while shops and schools can remain open.

“We wanted to put some life back into our restaurant,” said Guiseppe Fichera, manager of the “Pino” restaurant. “They are Panda-Mic pandas.”

The pandas are seated at the restaurant’s tables and propped up at the bar, some with bottles of “Corona” beer.

“It is a silent protest. An offer to our guests,” Fichera said, adding he would keep the lights on all day and night as long as the lockdown lasts so passers-by can enjoy the display.

The German government has said it will extend financial aid for firms hit by the restrictions, which, according to sources, could add up to 20 billion euros ($23.81 billion) in December to an estimated 10-15 billion euros bill in November.

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