Welcome to Eater feature Shit People Steal, in which we ask restaurateurs what items in their restaurant have been (or are frequently) stolen.
Craigie on Main chef Tony Maws, named Best Chef: Northeast by the James Beard Foundation this year, has seen his share of pilfered drink lists and other restaurant paraphernalia. I don't know what it is about restaurants that make people feel that everything is fair game," says Maws. "I was a psych major and I can't begin to understand it." However the most gobsmacking theft at his ultra-locavore restaurant concerned a massive tank of liquid nitrogen that went missing one night:
In our back parking lot we have a huge commercial tank behind a Dumpster that holds liquid nitrogen. These things are enormous. Ours is literally five feet tall, and you can't necessarily keep them inside. They also weight a ton: we're talking about 500-plus pounds when they're full.
One night it got up and walked away. Except, this thing can't really walk away; someone clearly had to have intent. Clearly this was some serious planning and impressive thievery. The delivery truck that delivers these tanks—it's a serious truck.
I totally admit to my own stupidity, having this thing in my back parking lot. I'm also in Cambridge, literally around the corner from MIT. Some punk kids probably saw this, punk being relative, and came after it. On one level I give them a little bit of credit, although I wouldn't in any way endorse it.
Now it's secured with huge cables, with two huge master locks wrapped around the thing. I'm not losing another couple grand for this tank.
[Photo: Michael Piazza/Flickr]