Update: Mr. Graziuzzi has paid his bill and his record has been wiped clean.
Original Story: Remember the good old days when you didn’t have the money to pay a restaurant bill and all you had to do was wash the dishes? Things are different now.
An Italian tourist, Graziano Graziuzzi, a vacationing lawyer, was arrested at Smith & Wollensky’s steakhouse, 3rd Ave. and E. 49 S., because he forgot his wallet and could not pay for the dinner.
He offered to leave his iphone until he could go home and get his wallet but I suppose they didn’t know if the phone was his, though that seems like an easy thing to check.
They decided to have him arrested.
He was put in a cell overnight and charged with theft of services.
Apparently skipping out on bills is becoming popular in New York restaurants.
One might ask why not check the customer’s hotel, send someone with him to his hotel, or just give him some time to make good?
The tourist suggested all of the above and they would have none of it. In response to his asking that they accompany him to his hotel to get the money, they said, “we’re not a taxi service.”
The bill was for $208.77. The tourist is out of jail and said he won’t be leaving his hotel without his wallet again.
I don’t know all the details but the arrest seems harsh.
I forgot my wallet while I was dining out at the Cheescake Factory a couple years ago and the restaurant owner trusted me to go home and call him with my credit card number. I guess I’m very fortunate that I didn’t end up in jail.