A commemorative matchbox or two. Maybe a few extra business cards. Meh, small change. Try artwork, tables, bottles of Cognac and computers.
Restaurant theft in Montreal is way past the odd demitasse spoon or linen napkin. Eater Montreal took an informal pool of industry people in the city - the tales of larceny that follow will simultaneously make you want to laugh and weep for humanity.
"Mini peugot pepper grinders, can't use them anymore."
Dylan Kier, Blackstrap BBQ
"Just last week I caught a girl stealing the ashtray, which is Tiffany's, that holds the business cards in the entrance of the restaurant! As I was taking it out of her purse, she said she didn't realize that she wasn't allowed to take it!!!"
Emma Cardarelli, Nora Gray
"Expensive hand blown glass sake carafes, Samurai sword, Btl of Xo off a display. Coat from coat check."
Cassady Sniatowski, Kaizen
"I once decorated Monkland's bathroom with beautiful scented candles and other little knickknacks glued them down all stolen within 2-3 months."
Stephen Leslie, Monkland Tavern
"Two bottles of Bombay Sapphire during a Halloween party. The would-be thieves threw a lit candle at Marc's [chef Marc-André Leclerc] head to create a diversion. Did I mention he was dressed as Mildred the Lunchlady? Got a great photo to bring this post to the next level."
Hilary McGown, Grumman '78
"2 coyote skulls, 10 silkscreened water bottles, a bunch of soap dispensers and maybe 50 bottles of hot sauce since we opened. We labeled a batch as a test and five went in one night. Some girl tried to steal the head off the roast piglet we had on our anniversary party!"
William Cody, Maïs
"About 20 cups of Moscow Mule ($15 each), Tiki glasses, bitters, Jack Daniel's carpet, big bottle of Hendrick's, they even took off the framework in the toilet, electronic candle ( they could never recharge it...) Well, cheers to drunk people...!"
Gabrielle Panaccio, Le LAB, comptoir à cocktail
"ALL my 60 vintage silver oyster forks and much, much more. Girls come in with a cheap coat and leave with a better coat, but they always leave plenty of gum and snots under the tables to make up for the thieving."
Dave McMillan, Joe Beef
"Security mirrors, plants, skulls, a table, bathroom mirrors..."
Gil MacNutt, Maïs
"I've got a bag thief on camera. If I could get it to you would you put his face out there with a warning?"
Ryan Dixon, Le Merchant Royal
"Sweet'N Low often goes missing. Steak knives. High end olive oil bottles. Pint glasses."
Jon Cercone, Tavern on the Square
"Micheal Jackson doll, theatre mask, Leonardo DiCaprio poster, the pants to some hippy doll."
Beaver Sheppard, Bethlehem XXX
"Still waiting for somebody to say 'my ideas'."
Colin Perry, Dinette Triple Crown
"Caught a guy walking around drinking Pastis straight from a bottle he'd just lifted from the bar."
Rachel Osborne, Philémon Bar
"Someone once tried to steal the clock that the owners before us bought from the dollar store. 2 vintage rear view mirrors from the bathrooms. Plus we've had several attempts on the taxidermy though they are nailed down. Oh, and a dj had his computer stolen while he was djing."
Gita Seaton, Nouveau Palais
"When I used to work at McKibbin's, we bought these novelty urinal mats. Shaped like hockey/soccer nets, with a little ball/puck hung in them. The premise was that dudes would aim better/spray less. We bought two for the two urinals, second day someone had stolen one. The levels of stupidity; how did you take it without getting piss on your hands, what did you put it in to get it home, what the F did you do with it once you got it home..."
Lon Benattar, Maïs
"Old body building chef from the Mess Hall (so like 07 i guess?) who was skating on thin ice got fed up, booked a ticked to Boca, made off w/ 2 magnums of Veuve and a 4ft X 2ft heart shaped mirror."
Max Ruiz Laing, Choice Harbour
"5 tiny ceramic ducklings I had out for Easter. A laptop."
Michelle Marek, SAT Foodlab
"Half burnt Ikea candle! Ash tray with our business cards. Cocktail coupes. Bill holders..... You name it!!"
Lisa McConnell, Nora Gray
"Corkscrews, candle holders, cookbooks, picture frames off the wall, vases, those little salt spoons or anything cute or novel, firewood, sleigh. Our place is small and intimate no easy feat, nice clientele too, not to mention not much of worth besides sentimental or antique, but still random disappearances all the time. I still have faith i.e. my dad's hand carved salt pots on the table, but don't put anything that means a lot to us in the bathroom!"
Nancy Hinton, La Table des Jardins Sauvages
"Notable stolen object at Le Club Chasse et Pêche: plaster horse light fixture (approximately 24"L x 16" H x 10"D) along with a monography of Nicolas Baier from whom we have an installation of some 23 pieces at the club."
Hubert Marsolais, Le Club Chasse et Pêche, Le Filet, Le Serpent
"I remember that the nice metal bill holders we had for a few years [at Au Pied de Cochon] mysteriously disappeared when one of Martin Picard's friends decided to engrave the PDC logo on it. It didn't last a week in the dining room."
Gaëlle Cerf, Grumman '78