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updated: 11/24/2017 11:25 PM

Anonymous donor picks up all the tabs, tips at Waukegan eatery

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Customers at a Waukegan cafe truly were given a reason to be thankful on Thanksgiving Day.

In what was a genuine random act of kindness, a customer picked up the tab for all the diners at Gojo's Cafe and Pancake House, 2929 Belvidere Road.

Cafe owner Kosta Gountanis said a man walked into the restaurant with his daughter Thursday evening during dinner.

"He asked one of our hostesses, he's like, 'I want to pay for everybody who is in the restaurant.' I said, 'Can you repeat that again, sir'?

"He goes, 'I want to pay for everybody's meal. I want to sit down with my daughter, eat my dinner. And that's it. I'm going to go.'"

"Then we got all the tickets together," Gountanis said. "He tipped the waitstaff here and the servers."

The customer wound up spending $180, plus 20 percent in tips.

The restaurant was serving a special Thanksgiving menu at the time.

"It was pretty busy, so the restaurant was probably a little bit less than half full," he said. "It was pretty busy, especially for the holiday."

When the customers were ready to pay, Gountanis said, "I respectfully told them, 'Your ticket has been paid for by an individual,' and I said, 'Happy Thanksgiving.' And they were happy about that."

The customers included several Navy families from the Great Lakes Naval Training Center.

But the generosity didn't end there.

"Some people were like, 'I want to pay for somebody else,'" Gountanis said. "It became like a chain."

It warmed Gountanis' heart.

"It was amazing just to see that people actually care. It was an extraordinary sight to see. I was happy to see that. There is actually good in a lot of people.

"For someone to come in and purchase meals for everybody that was in the restaurant, that's something you don't see often," he said.

Gountanis said the good Samaritan, a local, asked to remain anonymous.

"I have never seen him before," he said.

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