'Tips for Jesus' bandit strikes in Manhattan - Fox 2 News Headlines

'Tips for Jesus' bandit strikes in Manhattan

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

We have no artist's rendering of the bandit tipper's face. No witnesses willing to talk. Only unanswered questions and hushed whispers. Oh, and tens of thousands of dollars in tips.

On a late Tuesday afternoon, we found the wait staff at Bo's Kitchen and Bar Room in the Flatiron District bustling in preparation for the establishment's 40th night in business--not so silently hoping it might bring them the same fortune as evening No. 38.

"I saw one server do a little dance afterwards," 24-year-old general manager Benjamin Cramer said of that fateful Saturday.

Dec. 7, 1941: A day to live in infamy for a nation. Dec. 7, 2013: A night to set aside a little extra rent money for the 10 servers and bussers at Bo's.

"It seemed like a ploy, a fake, a joke," Cramer said.

Kramer and fellow manager Nicole Rowland, 25, immediately deemed a prank the $1,000 in gratuity one of their waiters received Saturday night after serving $100 of shrimp, ragu and bourbon. After all, what kind of real tipper signs with a stamp declaring himself only "@tipsforjesus"?

"They left a cell phone number and we ended up calling it and they said it was totally legit," Rowland said.

The generous donation proved real, the check cleared and the wait staff at Bo's rejoiced.

"Never in my life," Cramer said. "Nothing like that."

Over the weekend, a patron using the same signature left an extra $3,500 at The Smith near Lincoln Center and a whopping $7,000 in gratuity at Chelsea's Nomad.

An Instagram account -- named, what else, "@tipsforjesus" -- documents a string of similar money dumps at restaurants across America.

"It's pretty amazing that we got to be a part of that," Rowland said.

The identity of this phantom tipper (or tippers) remains as murky as his/her/their motive. But for a couple of restaurant managers in their early 20s looking to cement their fledgling kitchen-lounge-bar as a neighborhood go-to, an extra grand made another stressful night in a stressful industry just a little more rewarding.

"It's a good date -night spot," Rowland said of Bo's.

"We'll take any customer though," Cramer said, laughing.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • New York's smallest piece of private land

    New York's smallest piece of private land

    Thursday, July 31 2014 8:52 PM EDT2014-08-01 00:52:57 GMT
    The Hess triangle is a tiny piece of private property in Greenwich Village. Manhattan historian Joyce Gold explained the origins of the property: After World War I, New York City seized a beautiful residence and tore it down so it could extend Seventh Avenue and the west side subway below it. The city left the building's owner only a tiny scrap of property so small it requested he donate the triangle to make way for a sidewalk. The man refused, took the city to court and won.
    The Hess triangle is a tiny piece of private property in Greenwich Village. Manhattan historian Joyce Gold explained the origins of the property: After World War I, New York City seized a beautiful residence and tore it down so it could extend Seventh Avenue and the west side subway below it. The city left the building's owner only a tiny scrap of property so small it requested he donate the triangle to make way for a sidewalk. The man refused, took the city to court and won.
  • Tennis star Caroline Wozniacki to run New York City Marathon

    Wozniacki to run NYC Marathon

    Thursday, July 31 2014 4:42 PM EDT2014-07-31 20:42:50 GMT
    Former No. 1-ranked tennis star Caroline Wozniacki plans to play a full tournament schedule this fall while fitting in time to train for the New York City Marathon. She said Thursday that she long had wanted to do a marathon and decided before Wimbledon that she could pull it off this year.
    Former No. 1-ranked tennis star Caroline Wozniacki plans to play a full tournament schedule this fall while fitting in time to train for the New York City Marathon. She said Thursday that she long had wanted to do a marathon and decided before Wimbledon that she could pull it off this year.
  • 5 annoying things about the New York City subway

    5 annoying things about the New York City subway

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:55 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:55:21 GMT
    Subway problems are annoying, but it’s just a part of living in New York City. Public transportation isn’t glamorous. It’s a pain. It’s a convenience that can cause an inconvenience. Here is a list of five annoying things about the subway system.
    Subway problems are annoying, but it’s just a part of living in New York City. Public transportation isn’t glamorous. It’s a pain. It’s a convenience that can cause an inconvenience. Here is a list of five annoying things about the subway system.
Powered by WorldNow

WJBK-TV | Fox 2
16550 West Nine Mile Rd.
Southfield, MI 48075

Main Station: (248) 557-2000
Newsroom: (248) 552-5103

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices