Behold two very lucky women: Maureen Donohue-Peters, 53, the owner of Donohue’s restaurant in New York, and her niece, Maureen Barrie, 28.
Donohue’s was multi-millionaire Asian art collector Robin Ellsworth’s favorite eatery. He was also fond of the staff there. So much so, that when he died, he left two women a life changing tip of $50,000 each.
Even though he didn’t know their names, he made the gift referring to his usual servers as “Maureen at Donohue’s” (also the owner of Donohue’s) and “Maureen-at-Donohue’s Niece Maureen.”
Ellsworth reportedly consumed "seven out of eight" meals at the popular establishment, typically feasting on a grilled cheese during lunch, and then returning for a steak dinner with friends. Hence, he was more than satisfied with the service he received.
And wait, there’s more: That’s not the ONLY amount he generously bequeathed. Ellsworth left $10 million to his live-in chef and friend Masahiro Hashiguchi and as well as monetary gifts for various siblings, nieces, nephews, godchildren, household staff and friends.
Robin Ellsworth was born in Manhattan on July 13, 1929, to an opera singer and a dentist. He grew up to be a great collector of art. As a teenager, he worked for Alice Boney, the grande dame of the Asian art trade in New York City who taught him what she knew about painting, porcelain, and furniture and introduced him to Wall Street financiers.
He began collecting Chinese paintings in the mid-1960s and was known for being a connoisseur of Asian art.