I'll be the first to admit that I've skulked out of a restaurant with my handbag stashed with menus, and, on one occasion, back when I was the restaurant critic at the Rocky Mountain News, a chef -- who's no longer in Denver -- caught me red-handed and went ballistic. Because I waltzed off with a menu. I've pilfered my share of hot sauces, too (apologies to Steuben's), and I once I pocketed a steak knife -- but only because someone else shoved it into my bag.
Diners are notorious for thievery, skunking past the hostess stand on the way out the door with their pockets and purses stashed with salt-and-pepper shakers, glassware, silverware, tampons and toilet paper (!) and lotions and potions from the bathroom. And then there was the woman who stole the Scope bottle.
But none of those even come remotely close to some of the things that Canlis, a Seattle restaurant that's been in business for sixty years, has had plucked from its quarters.
The two brothers who own Canlis recently divulged to Eater Seattle the most outrageous thefts from their restaurant, which include, among other things, a helium balloon and -- wait for it -- wallpaper.
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No, really, wallpaper!
Wallpaper. Twice. One person even admitted it later to Brian. She said, 'I love your wallpaper so much that I installed the exact same stuff in my home.' He said, 'oh, how did you know where we got it?' She didn't know how to respond. The wallpaper is from these guys on Whidbey Island. It's amazing; they hand-make it and hand-press it on there. There was a big square of it cut off the wall in the ladies room. So someone had to cut it with an X-acto knife or a penknife or something. You stole wallpaper, people. Come on.
So...we gotta ask, what have you
stolen borrowed from restaurants, and if you're a chef or restaurateur, what's the most ludicrous thing you've had lifted from your restaurant?