A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from July 10, 2006
Dine and Dash

“Dine and dash” is what occurs when someone eats at a restaurant and then leaves without paying. It’s not known of the term comes from New York City, but it’s cited from the 1987 New York Times. The term was used earlier on the sitcom Silver Spoons.
Anyway, I loved this show but it had one of the worst of all time fake punk episodes…the one where Ricky and Freddy take the two girls to Club Dead and then to an Italian restaurant, where they attempt the dine and dash. Lame, phony, ridiculous hair and outfits for all of them…this episode makes the after school special “The Day My Kid Went Punk” look like a documentary.
The show taught me some things about lie like, honoring and backing up your friends in their time of need, especially in the “Dine and Dash” episode where, Rick defends his friend, Freddy Lippincottleman, played by Corky Pigeon, who was left for bait by their mischevious girlfriends
A dine and dash (also referred to in some quarters as “Chew and Screw”) is a form of theft where a patron eats at a restaurant and then leaves without paying.
31 July 1987, New York Times, pg. B10:
Some customers walk away without paying. “I call it dine and dash,” said Allen Barcelon, assistant manager of the Riviera, which has a busy, blocklong cafe in Greenwich Village. At least every three days, he said, a customer walks away from the outdoor cafe without paying th check. Once a week a passer-by picks up money meant for the restaurant. Customers, too, must be beware. “I chased a purse snatcher on my second week here,” he said. “If it’s not on your lap, they’ll take it.”
Eat & run
Food-loving scammers are hitting up New York
restaurants with the old ‘dine and dash’
Several times a month, Bolivar Arias, a dining-room manager at Havana Central in Times Square, nips a “dine and dash” in the bud.
Though one might think it’s something only a drunken frat boy might pull, there is no shortage, it seems, of New Yorkers who love feasting on lobster and steak, but don’t much like paying the bill afterward.

“It happens much more than people realize,” says Arias, and “usually, they’ve planned their move before they step foot into the restaurant.” Typically, the “dashers” will head to the bathroom around check time, he says, leaving only one diner at the table, poised to bolt. “One person went so far as to change shirts in the bathroom so we wouldn’t recognize him on his way out.”
Originally published on July 9, 2006

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Monday, July 10, 2006 • Permalink

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