CLEVELAND — The owner of Nighttown in Cleveland shared the generous gift one customer left them Sunday, expressing gratitude for the random act of kindness.
“We've actually had a really, really good summer. People have supported us unbelievably,” Nighttown owner Brendan Ring said. “That's what made it even more difficult for me to make the decision to hit the pause button here again until the complications are sort of under control.”
Nighttown closed Sunday, voluntarily shutting down in response to the rising COVID-19 cases in the area and will remain closed until sometime in the spring, according to Ring.
“It's going to be a hard winter in the restaurant business,” Ring said.
Just before the restaurant closed Sunday, a customer dining with his family approached the bar and ordered a single beer.
“He literally took two small sips out of it, signed his check and left,” bartender Heather Sandow said.
After signing his check, the man handed his credit card receipt to Ring on his way out.
“He put it down next to me and he wished me well and said, 'Share this with your staff,'” Ring said.
Ring quickly noticed the tip amount.
“I quickly glanced down and it looked like a $300 tip. And I go, ‘Wow, that's a nice tip for a guy that just had a beer,’” Ring said. “Then I put my reading glasses on. My eyes almost popped out of my head.”
The generous customer left a $3,000 tip on the single beer purchase. For those curious, that is a 42,735% tip.
“One girl point blank didn't believe what she was staring at,” Ring said. “She said, ‘No, that's not real.’”
Ring said he ran after the man, thinking there had been a mistake. The man confirmed the tip was intentional.
“That gentleman that left a tip yesterday, he’d be indicative of the type of customer we have here in Cleveland Heights. Just true, loyal and giving,” Ring said.
Sandow said the relationship between customers and staff for the last 25 years is what sets Nighttown apart.
“It's not all about money. I think personally, it's more about the gesture that was made and the unselfishness that was demonstrated,” Sandow said. “The customers have been coming here over the years. They do care about us.”
As Ring temporarily closed the doors to his business and is now planning for the future, he said he will reflect on the parting words of the kind customer.
“We'll be back. We'll see you on the other side of this,” Ring said. “And here's a little something extra to get you along.”
Ring posted the act of kindness on Facebook and said that he and all his waitstaff are “humbly grateful for this incredibly kind and grand gesture.”