LIBERTY, Mo. – Folks around Clay County are dishing about a dine-and-dash at a popular restaurant in Liberty.
However, instead of demanding payment, the restaurant’s co-owner says she’s taking the high road.
If someone’s hungry, we’re going to feed them: That’s what one of the owners of The Fish Market, a Liberty-based seafood restaurant, told FOX 4 News after a family of three ate at the restaurant and then left without paying their bill on Saturday afternoon.
The restaurant’s surveillance cameras from Saturday show a family of three leaving the restaurant. One of The Fish Market’s owners says the man went as far as to send the woman and boy to the car ahead of time, and parked out of the cameras’ line of sight.
“In two and a half years, it’s the first time it’s happened,” Darla Staton, one of the restaurant’s owners, said.
Staton says they’re not mad about the theft. In fact, The Fish Market’s owners say they’re using this opportunity to invite people who are in need to their upcoming Thanksgiving meal, when the restaurant will offer turkey and the trimmings to anyone who shows up.
“Our restaurant has become a family,” Staton said. “We know there are a lot of people who don’t have families.”
“We’ve seen a lot of struggles in our own lives. We have our own struggles from time to time, and we wanted to give back.”
The Fish Market’s regular customers, such as Bob Mills, say it isn’t uncommon for the restaurant’s owners to help others.
“People just look out for themselves and it’s all about the money,” Mills said. “It’s nice that people still have a heart and are willing to help someone out.”
In fact, Staton told FOX 4 News she didn’t even call the police to report the theft. She told me she respects that sometimes people experience hard times, and she wants her restaurant to be part of the solutions, not the problems.