Welcome to Eater's latest feature, Shit People Steal, in which we ask restaurateurs what items in their restaurant have been (or are frequently) stolen.
If there's any lesson to learn from today's edition of Shit People Steal, it's that the diners in Nolita sure have balls. Rubirosa chef Al Di Meglio writes in with the following:
We've definitely had our share of kleptos in our short little life and besides getting pissed at the moment, it's actually hysterical and pathetic in hindsight.
At Rubirosa we try to find things that look old and vintage, like things you would find at grandma's house. We came across a "we're open" sign to fit the aesthetic of the restaurant and we hung it in the window near a table we hold for walk ins right in front of the host stand. Well that lasted two days. No big deal. It wasn't antique or expensive, so we brought a new one and hung it up the next day. That sign didn't make it to the end of night. We brought another one the next day and moved it to a more conspicuous place on the third try. Gone again...unreal!
A lot of the paintings, pictures and stuff come from AJ's family's house, so it was crazy when a wall clock from his grandfather's house (the guy that's on our pizza boxes and menus), grew a set of legs and walked away. This one wasn't made to look old, it was OLD!!! We can only ask now that whoever took it is taking good care of it cause we cant replace that one.People are bizarre.
The funniest one was had so far was while we were outside, a man came barreling down the street and, right in front of us, grabbed our chalkboard, and ran away with it. This one did not get away, however. Julio our manager chased him down the block and told him to give us back the sign. His answer was he "didn't like the sign." Not ten minutes later after this all happened and the sign was returned to its rightful owners, the same guy came back only to body check the sign on the floor.