(CNN) — A restaurant in Cleveland received a holiday surprise as it was voluntarily closing due to the increase of COVID-19 cases in Ohio.
Brendon Ring, who owns staple local establishment Nighttown, told CNN that he was having lunch at his restaurant when a semi-regular customer came over and left his check at his table that included a $3,000 tip.
“Covid is so out of control in Ohio that I decided to voluntarily close down until January,” Ring said.
“We got kind of busy on Sunday with a lot of our regulars coming in since it was our last day … this guy came in and walked up to the bar and ordered a pint of Stella and he took a couple of sips out of it and said to the manager, “Can I just get my check?”‘
The man, who Ring said wishes to be anonymous, then brought it over to Ring’s table and told him to share it with the wait staff.
“He said, “Good luck to you guys and we’ll see you when you reopen,”‘ Ring said.
When Ring first looked at the check he thought it was a $300 tip, but after he put on his glasses he realized he missed a zero. It was a $3,000 tip on a $7 bill. He ran out to the customer to make sure he hadn’t made a mistake.
“He said, “No, that’s what I intended. Share it with the staff, good luck to you guys, Merry Christmas and we’ll see you when you come back.”‘
Ring said he’s known as a jokester with the staff — so when shared the news with one of his waitresses, she thought he had pulled a prank.
“She said “Yeah right, you did that”… the next server I showed it too, she started crying, she knew it was legit,” he said.
There were four servers working on Sunday, and each of them got $750 from the tip.
Ring cannot believe not only the generosity of his customer, but how the outpouring of love for the simple story.
Ring, who is from Ireland, said even his sister, who still lives there, saw the story in her newspaper.
“We’re all so desperate for uplifting news, if this was a normal year, yeah, this would be a good story, but it’s a great story because of the year we’re in,” Ring said. “The outpouring of love for this story has been universal.”