Millionaire Leaves His Favorite Waitresses $50,000 Each In His Will
A New York millionaire left two waitresses at his regular lunch and dinner spot thousands of dollars after he died.
Robert Ellsworth, 85, was known as the "King of Ming" because he was a leading authority on furniture from the Ming dynasty, according to the New York Post.
Reportedly worth an estimated $200 million, the Manhattan native died in August from a fall.
His favorite restaurant was Donohue's Steak House on Lexington Avenue near East 64th Street, which also counts Bruce Springsteen and Tom Hanks as former customers.
Ellsworth frequented the establishment for decades and was extremely generous to servers.
A Donohue's employee, Juan Carlos Padiloa, told the New York Post,
He would always tip 20 percent. He never even looked at the bill.
Ellsworth valued the service at Donohue's so much, he left two of its waitresses $50,000 each.
He didn't know their last names, so the document refers to them as “Maureen at Donohue's” and “Maureen-at-Donohue's Niece Maureen.”
Maureen Donohue-Peters, 53, said,
I just couldn't believe it. I didn't expect anything.
I had known him for 53 years -- my entire life.
Also on the receiving end was her 28-year-old niece, Maureen Barrie, who recalled,
He was a wonderful man and a dear friend.
According to the staff, Ellsworth would typically order a grilled cheese with bacon for lunch and a sirloin steak for dinner.
The lunch bill ranged from $60 to $80 for two people whereas dinner tended to cost anywhere from $125 to $220.
Out of eight meals, he ate seven here. We were his dining room.
Ellsworth, who had no children, lived in a 20-room apartment on Fifth Avenue that featured luxurious items such as an emperor's rug from Beijing's Forbidden Palace.
He left $10 million, jewelry, real estate and a dog to his personal chef, who was his friend for over 40 years.
Numerous pieces of art and furniture he collected will be given to New York University, Harvard University, Yale University and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.