Randy Essex

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August 22, 2014
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Glenwood diners pay it forward

Diners at a Glenwood Springs restaurant Thursday were served a surprise side order of kindness that built on itself for more than three hours.

At about 10 a.m., a man eating by himself told his server at the 19th Street Diner that he wanted to pay for the breakfast for a family of four, a younger couple and their two small children, assistant manager George Daly said.

“Don’t tell them till I leave,” he asked.

The workers honored that, so when the family asked for their check, “we told them, ‘You don’t have one,’” Daly said.

So the family decided at that point to pay the bills for everyone in the restaurant — about three tables at the time, according to Daly.

When the family left, diner staff announced that everyone’s meal was paid for.

From there, “everybody just pushed the happiness forward,” Daly said. Diners paid bills for others' food until the lunch rush finally wound down at about 1:30 p.m.

“It was just amazing to see,” said bartender Courtney Birrell. “Random kindness is awesome, and only in a place like Glenwood Springs — small-town America.”

It was a big morale boost for servers, who were getting big tips along the way, Birrell said.

“It was just a really warm feeling” throughout the restaurant, Birrell said, adding that such things rarely happen at the diner.

“I just bought a lady her shake and baked beans,” Daly said at 2:15 p.m. “I thought I should get involved.”

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The Aspen Times Updated Aug 22, 2014 10:47AM Published Aug 25, 2014 02:44PM Copyright 2014 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.