Most New York

September 30, 2018

Diners across the city have sticky fingers — and not just the kind that come from eating chicken wings.

Earlier this month, Richard Johnson reported that patrons are walking off with the silver salt and pepper shakers from Ralph Lauren’s Polo Bar.

Management has held meetings about the problem, but confronting customers is never pleasant, so, a waitress says, “we can’t stop them.’’

At Surya Indian restaurant downtown, co-owner Abishek Sharma also doesn’t call out customers when they swipe his copper mugs.

“The urge to say something is definitely strong, especially considering they cost about $10 each, ” he says. “But we’d rather have a customer leave happy than cause a scene.”

Many are repeat offenders. “One woman [took] eight entire place settings over the course of her lifetime, ” says Avery Fletcher, the ‘21’ Club’s director of sales and marketing. “Her granddaughter found them in her things after she passed away, and sent them back to us with an apology.’’

Others seem to think they’re allowed to stash décor in their totes, as if they’re grabbing a centerpiece to take home from a wedding. At fancy Midtown Italian spot Alfredo 100, the decorative Calabrian chilies always seem to be disappearing from the vases on tables.

Delinquent diners have no shame, it seems. “One guest thought she was being slick grabbing a fresh linen napkin off of a reset table on the way out, ’’ says Tom Brown, director of operations at Strip House, the Midtown steak joint. “The problem is she sent the silverware clattering to the floor, so everyone around the room was looking at her. But even that didn’t stop her.’’

It’s not just small items on tables that are being lifted. In June of last year, the porker statue that marked the entrance to the Spotted Pig on West 11th Street disappeared in the middle of the night.

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