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A Pizza Shop Employee Selflessly Saved A Tourist's Vacation — And Is Now $1,000 Richer

Photo: Dean Drobot / Shutterstock
Waitress with customers

We constantly hear stories about bad bosses and bad jobs, and in our times it's more common to hear about people doing each other wrong than doing the right thing. A recent story from a pizzeria in New Jersey for once turns all of that on its head.

A pizzeria waitress selflessly saved a tourist's vacation from being ruined and was handsomely rewarded for it.

Tony's Baltimore Grill is an iconic Italian restaurant in Atlantic City, New Jersey that has become an institution for its famous pizzas and pastas. So much so that the late, great Anthony Bourdain, who famously advised to always choose the spot where the locals eat over the fanciest place in town, once dined at the place.  

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The spot, which is the oldest pizza place in Atlantic City, has become so beloved, particularly after Bourdain's vote of confident, that it's even become a stop on the "New Jersey Food Trail," a culinary tour of the state's best places to eat.

The food, of course, is the most important thing at any restaurant, but part of what makes a restaurant a local favorite is its people. And it seems Tony's Baltimore Grill definitely has that part on lock after a recent situation that happened in the joint.

A Tony's waitress found $2,000 in cash accidentally left behind by tourists — all their money for their Atlantic City vacation.

"A few weeks ago a young man named Tanner came running into the joint," one of Tony's owners wrote in a recent Facebook post.

He described Tanner as "frantic about his family's vacation being ruined" because they had withdrawn $2,000 in cash for their trip to Atlantic City, and all the money was gone. "They couldn’t find it anywhere. They retraced their steps… but nothing."

So they dropped into Tony's, where they'd eaten, to inquire if anyone had found an envelope full of cash. And it turned out, they'd come to the right place — a customer named Malik, who'd sat in the same booth as the family, had found the envelope and turned it into one of the waitresses, Pam, thinking that it was her packet of cash from her shift that day.

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Tony's owners rewarded the customer and the waitress because their good deed saved a tourist's vacation.

What would you have done with that envelope of cash? A lot of us would have pocketed it or played dumb, but Pam did the opposite and immediately turned the cash in. And she was handsomely rewarded by her boss.

"The family was able to describe the envelope accurately so we returned it to them and a CRISIS was AVERTED," the restaurant excitedly wrote on its Facebook page. "You can’t believe how proud we are that our staff acts this way when nobody is looking," they went on to say.

So there was only one thing to do. "Yesterday we presented Pam & Malik with the choice of either a week of paid vacation or to split the $2,000 that they so honestly turned in."



Pam was so moved she burst into happy tears, a sentiment her bosses shared. "To tell you truth, we haven’t stopped crying or smiling about it either," they wrote.

People on Facebook were feeling the love too, with several saying the story made their day and many Atlantic City natives thrilled to the goodness in their hometown brought to light. 

It just goes to show the real difference small gestures can make. "The magic of [Tony's has never been the pizza," the owner wrote in their Facebook post, "it’s always been the people." Here's hoping that $1,000 each gives Pam and Malik the kind of joy they deserve.

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice and human interest topics.