The Check is the New Page Six

By D.J Costantino | Nitzan Rubin | Styling by Hip Torres


D.J Costantino
Nitzan Rubin | Styling by Hip Torres
The guestbooks at Chad Carey's Chisme.
The guestbooks at Chad Carey's Chisme.

No one likes getting the check. Chefs and restaurateurs across the country are working to soften that painful drop at a meal’s close. Nick Kokonas’ Tock ticketing system, adopted by hundreds of restaurants nationwide, allows guests to pre-pay so they can enjoy a meal without reaching for their wallet. At SingleThread in Sonoma, Kyle and Katina Connaughton built an entire hospitality experience that avoids guest-to-staff financial transactions. And at Sasha Petraske’s Milk & Honey, the late bartender insisted on monthly tabs so bills never passed over the bar.

Chad Carey gives guests a welcome distraction from receiving their bills. At his Tex-Mex spot Chisme, the check comes tucked in a small notebook filled with chisme, or gossip, and a pen. Inside, it reads like an episode of “Maury.” “I’m dating a girl who is dating a married man,” writes one guest. “I hope my coworker’s chair breaks and she falls,” writes another. And while guests still have to dig into their wallets, they can at least read the latest anonymous San Antonio scandal, tell their own dirty secrets, or stick it to their arch enemies.

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