A customer left a $2,500 tip to support an Ohio bar that had to close because of coronavirus

After ordering a beer and some food, the customer's check came out to be just under $30. But after he left, the spirits of owner Patrick "Benny" Leonard and his staff were uplifted immediately after seeing the tip he had left.
After ordering a beer and some food, the customer's check came out to be just under $30. But after he left, the spirits of owner Patrick "Benny" Leonard and his staff were uplifted immediately after seeing the tip he had left. (Benny Leonard)

On any other Sunday, Coaches Bar and Grill in Columbus, Ohio, would be rumbling with customers. But this Sunday, the staff of the popular sports bar gathered around the TV, standing aghast as Gov. Mike DeWine ordered all restaurants and bars in the state to close to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

As thoughts of "How will I make next month's rent?" or "How will I provide for my family?" ruminated in the minds of the waitstaff, they served a customer who would be one of their last for the foreseeable future.

After ordering a beer and some food, the customer's check came out to be just under $30. But after he left, the spirits of owner Patrick "Benny" Leonard and his staff were uplifted immediately after seeing the tip he had left.

The amount? A whopping $2,500.

"Please split this tab equally between Tara, Nicky, Jim, Liz and Arrun," the check read.

"There were tears of joy among everyone here," Leonard told CNN. "On a day when I've never seen a shutdown like that, I've never seen a tip like that either."

Leonard said the customer wanted to remain anonymous, but noted that he was a regular who visited the bar every Wednesday to play trivia.

As the coronavirus shows no signs of slowing in the US, the pandemic has induced a panic that is bringing out the worst in people.