For Bloomberg, Applebee's beckoned
He may be proposing massive spending cuts to city agencies across the board, but when it comes to digging into his own pocket, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a generous tipper.
Following his state of the city speech Thursday at Brooklyn College, Bloomberg ate at an Applebee's across the street from the auditorium, where he picked up the $73.30 check for the party of six and left a nice tip, said Zane Tankel, the CEO of Apple Metro, which runs the local franchise.
"The server was very happy with the tip," Tankel told reporters just after the mayor left (and about a half hour before a US Airways plane made an emergency landing in the Hudson River, diverting attention and news coverage from the speech).
Tankel declined to say what the tip was (he noted that the IRS requires servers only to declare 8 percent and said he didn't want to get anyone in trouble) but the New York Post's Page Six reported it was $20.
Bloomberg had a hamburger (no cheese), french fries and a diet Pepsi, said Tankel.The choice of Applebee's was made not so much because the mayor had a particular hankering for a burger (though he ate everything on his plate and some fries off someone else's) but because Tankel, a Brooklyn native, opened the restaurant three weeks ago, providing 250 jobs for local residents at a time when many employers are laying people off.
When Tankel opened an Applebee's in Bed-Stuy a year and a half ago, Bloomberg cut the ribbon, an expression of appreciation to Tankel for investing in a community that hadn't always enjoyed the fruits of the then-surging economy.
Of course, not everyone was so welcoming. That first night, Tankel said, someone threw a rock through the window.