A man in Washington, D.C., who frequents local restaurant Blue 44, really, really likes their gumbo. In fact, he likes it so much that he gave a $2,000 tip to staff there this week as a thank you.
The anonymous tipper is a regular and a neighbor to the D.C. restaurant who comes in often enough for staff there to ask his opinion about the menu and the beer they offer, owner Christofer Nardelli told USA Today.
Nardelli himself and his chef, James Turner, often email the patron, who particularly loves the gumbo (which does sound delicious — with a chicken and andouille sausage base), the Washington Post added.
In fact, it was gumbo that drew the regular back to D.C.’s Blue 44 Monday night. James emailed to ask when he’d next be in — that way, he could have his favorite meal ready. He let him know his next visit would be Monday, and Turner whipped up the delicious dish.
He came, as promised, with a friend, and they dined on gumbo together throughout the evening, then asked for some to go. As a thank you, Turner gave him a couple quarts of it for free. After they left, waitress, Laura Dally, started to clean up and found something incredible.
Next to the $93 bill was a $2,000 tip and instructions on how it was to be divvied up. She went right to Christofer and showed him the incredible receipt. He was floored.
“This is the kind of stuff you see in the restaurant business that happens to some guy in the Midwest or the West Coast. You think, who are these people who give these extraordinarily generous tips that just made a server or bartender’s day? And then sure enough, it happened to us.”
Turner got $1,000 of the $2,000 gratuity, and Nardelli and Dally $500 each. He said he’ll use it to help pay for a monthly day-care bill and thinks his chef will use it on his family as well.
As for the waitress — she’s going to put her portion of the $2,000 tip toward a summer class at a local D.C. college as part of her education as an occupational therapist.
The owner of D.C.’s Blue 44 is still in quite a state of shock, telling the Post that while the $2,000 tip is flattering, “it’s hard to believe anyone deserves a tip like that.”
He’s already thanked his generous regular, whose identity he’s kept a secret to honor the man’s privacy. And he gave an excellent reason for his generosity, Christofer said.
“He said he’s very happy with what we’ve built and that he’s proud to be a customer (and) very happy to express my gratitude in that way.”
[Photo Via Huffington Post]