Boulder's Flagstaff House receives hefty tip from anonymous donor

Deborah Swearingen, Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.
·1 min read

May 5—When the man at the bar of Boulder's Flagstaff House jetted out the door after paying his bill on Sunday, General Manager Adam Monette did not understand why.

But it didn't take long to figure it out.

The longtime Boulder restaurant, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary, was the latest to receive an impressive tip from the "COVID Bandit," an anonymous diner now known for leaving generous tips at Colorado restaurants during the pandemic.

According to the Denver Post, the "COVID Bandit" left a $6,800 tip at Guard and Grace in Denver two months ago and $1,400 at Notchtop Bakery & Cafe in Estes Park in January.

The Flagstaff House received $4,600. The receipt specifically requests that money go to every person working, including chefs, valets, hosts, bussers and dishwashers.

Because the restaurant known for its stellar views was staffed with 54 people that night, each person received about $85 in tips.

"At the end of the day, everyone's working," Monette said. "That was a really nice boost."

The anonymous donor drove to the restaurant in a vintage car and the battery died so staff helped him jump start it, Monette said. His staff noticed the man's jovial presence but didn't think much about it.

"I thought he was just another man giving us some unsolicited praise," Monette said.

But the large tip was unlike any other received at the Flagstaff House, at least in Monette's memory. It's been a tough year for those in the service industry, so the gesture meant a lot.

"It was just a lot of uncertainty," he said about the past year. "Certainly what the COVID bandit did was cherished by all."