'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>>

  • Mayor pushes back pre-k concerns

    Mayor pushes back pre-k concerns

    Thursday, August 28 2014 10:16 PM EDT2014-08-29 02:16:46 GMT
    Mayor Bill de Blasio, educators and city leaders gathered at p.s. 307 in Brooklyn on Thursday to talk with pride about more than 50,000 kids who have enrolled in pre-kindergarten. Universal full-day pre-k was a platform of his campaign when he ran for mayor.Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina also feels the pre-k program is ready for launch.
    Mayor Bill de Blasio, educators and city leaders gathered at p.s. 307 in Brooklyn on Thursday to talk with pride about more than 50,000 kids who have enrolled in pre-kindergarten. Universal full-day pre-k was a platform of his campaign when he ran for mayor.Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina also feels the pre-k program is ready for launch.
  • 'Resting comfortably'

    Joan Rivers rushed to NYC hospital

    Joan Rivers rushed to NYC hospital

    Thursday, August 28 2014 9:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 01:22:56 GMT
    Joan Rivers was reportedly rushed to a hospital in New York City Thursday morning after she stopped breathing during a throat surgery.  The TV host and comedian was apparently undergoing the procedure in a clinic when she stopped breathing.
    Joan Rivers was reportedly rushed to a hospital in New York City Thursday morning after she stopped breathing during a throat surgery.  The TV host and comedian was apparently undergoing the procedure in a clinic when she stopped breathing.
  • Broadway preview: 'It's Only a Play'

    Broadway preview: 'It's Only a Play'

    Thursday, August 28 2014 6:12 PM EDT2014-08-28 22:12:00 GMT
    Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham, and Megan Mullally are just some of the names heading back to Broadway. Legendary playwright and four-time tony winner Terrence McNally leads the all-star cast in the new Broadway play appropriately titled It's Only a Play.
    Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham, and Megan Mullally are just some of the names heading back to Broadway. Legendary playwright and four-time tony winner Terrence McNally leads the all-star cast in the new Broadway play appropriately titled It's Only a Play.
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 | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices