'Tips for Jesus' bandit strikes in Manhattan

'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>>

  • Hundreds celebrate Easter at St. Patricks Cathedral

    Hundreds celebrate Easter at St. Patricks Cathedral

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-04-20 02:37:51 GMT
    Hundreds of people showed up to Saturday's mass at St. Patricks Cathedral to celebrate Easter, one of the holiest days for Christians around the world.
    Hundreds of people showed up to Saturday's Mass at St. Patricks Cathedral to celebrate Easter, one of the holiest days for Christians around the world.
  • Governor kicks off 114th annual New York International Auto Show

    Governor kicks off 114th annual New York International Auto Show

    Saturday, April 19 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-04-19 23:00:18 GMT
    Auto fans you may already know this the 114th New York International Automobile Show is in town this week. Governor Cuomo was on hand Saturday to kick off the official opening of the 10 day event by driving a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette convertible through the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
    Auto fans you may already know this the 114th New York International Automobile Show is in town this week. Governor Cuomo was on hand Saturday to kick off the official opening of the 10 day event by driving a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette convertible through the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
  • Man struck and killed by NYC subway train

    Man struck and killed by NYC subway train

    Saturday, April 19 2014 3:19 PM EDT2014-04-19 19:19:38 GMT
    A man in his 60s was killed by an oncoming train in midtown Manhattan after jumping on the tracks to grab his personal belongings that fell.
    A man in his 60s was killed by an oncoming train in midtown Manhattan after jumping on the tracks to grab his personal belongings that fell.
Powered by WorldNow
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