Dapper diner skips out on pricey bills

Surveillance photo taken at Muse restaurant in Kensington of a man who allegedly walked out on a...

Surveillance photo taken at Muse restaurant in Kensington of a man who allegedly walked out on a $156 bill on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. The same scammer is believed responsible for similar dine-and-dashes at a pair of other high-end eateries. (Supplied Photo)

Michael Platt, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:28 AM ET

CALGARY -- He has excellent taste, they’ll give him that.

But that’s where the charity stops — and at least three high-end Calgary restaurants would love to collect some outstanding bills, after being swindled by a dapper diner who makes his dash just before dessert is served.

“That’s what we’ve been saying — he’s getting some great food out of this,” said Heather Wighton.

Wighton is co-owner of Muse, an upscale Kensington eatery used to getting five-star reviews for menus that include suckling pig confit and Vancouver Island sturgeon.

What Muse isn’t used to is thievery to go along with its charcuterie — yet on Thursday night, staff found themselves holding a $156.19 bill, and no customer to pay it.

“He just casually left,” said Wighton.

She’s still flabbergasted by the gall of the customer who strolled into her restaurant late in the evening, wearing a sharp three-piece suit and sporting an attitude to match.

He sat at table #13 — maybe a harbinger of the unlucky night to follow.

Then he asked, perhaps a little arrogantly, if Muse made a decent cocktail.

“He was chatting like any other customer, and he wanted to know if we made a good cocktail,” said Wighton.

Apparently Muse does, because the first Manhattan was followed by another — the solo diner seemingly enjoying the atmosphere, and showing no signs of urgency.

His being alone raised no eyebrows among the staff at Muse.

The owner says there are a fair number of hotels around her business, and it’s not at all unusual to see a customer coming in alone, either to dine or sit at the lounge.

“It happens all the time,” she said.

What doesn’t happen all the time, at least in Calgary’s upper-echelon food places, is the classic dine-and-dash, where a customer eats and then flees before paying.


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