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Anonymous man pays 12-person dinner bill at Bandit’s Grill and Bar

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — What started as a typical night out with friends at a restaurant in Cottonwood Heights, turned out to be a night one group of friends won’t forget.

“We had people in their 60s, and the youngest was 6-years-old,” says Mickey Roos.

Roos says the group was out celebrating three of their birthdays this month. One of their friends had her last treatment for breast cancer today.

“We were sitting at the table and one of the birthday girls — who is also the cancer survivor — looked behind me,” says Roos. “She looked at this guy and says, ‘He wants to be invited to join us.’ I kinda looked back and he was a young gentleman, sitting by himself, but I didn’t really pay attention to him.”

So they carried on.

“We were laughing, we were sharing, we were telling stories about whatever,” says Roos.

And then the waitress came up.

“She actually had tears in her eyes,” says Kathie Evans, one of the people at dinner. “She says, you know, I’ve got to tell you, ladies, that there’s a gentleman that was sitting over in this table by himself, and he has picked up your tab.”

Evans says she was floored to find out the bill had been paid — in full.

“This is not an inexpensive restaurant, and it was a large party,” says Evans.

The waitress told them that the man had asked her about why the group was out to dinner and was moved by the story of their celebrations.

But he left before the waitress could tell them about the bill. He didn’t want to be known.

“He didn’t want to be known, it was just a random act of kindness,” says Evans. “The tab had to be quite expensive. It was just a feel-good moment, and we were brought to tears. It was just a ‘wow’ moment in our lives.”

“All of us with our jaws on the ground kind of took a minute to pull ourselves together,” says Roos. “Some of us were tearing up a bit because it’s very emotional, it’s very kind, it’s very sweet.”

“It just made us take pause, and know that — at least for me — with all the stuff that is going on in the world right now, in our country right now, in our city right now… There is still kindness and thoughtfulness and good hearts and good people,” says Evans. “Period. Full stop.”

Now, they want to say thank you.

“We don’t know who this gentleman was, and we can’t directly say thank you,” says Evans, “but maybe he’ll hear that he touched us so deeply.”

Both Evans and Roos say the whole experience will stay with them and the whole group, and it speaks to the story of the group’s friendship.

They also hope the experience rubs off on other people — and the positivity gets paid forward.