Dan Galvis and his wife, Gilda, had never heard of Fore Street before they walked into the nationally renowned restaurant last Friday night for dinner. But after what happened to them there, they will never forget it.

After dinner, their server told them that strangers sitting in another part of the dining room wanted to pay their tab – all of it, including the $16 box of chocolates they’d ordered to take home.

“When we were all done, the waitress came over and said in her 30 years of waitressing here she’s never seen this,” said Dan Galvis. “Some anonymous person there paid our bill. It completely blew us away and re-established our faith in mankind.”

Lest that sound a bit dramatic, consider that the Galvises are both in law enforcement, and are not used to seeing the best mankind has to offer. The couple are from Leyden, Mass., population 679, a western Massachusetts town known for maple sugaring that’s just a few miles from the Vermont border. Dan Galvis is Leyden’s police chief, and Gilda Galvis is a captain on the town’s small police force, but they weren’t wearing their uniforms Friday night.

Portland is a three-and-a-half- hour-drive away, and neither had been here in at least 20 years. The Galvises came to Maine to go to the Maine Agricultural Trade Show, where they set up a booth to promote their side business organizing motor sports shows. They stayed at a Portland hotel Friday night, and scoured the Internet in search of a good place to have dinner. When they saw the positive online reviews for Fore Street, and read raves about the restaurant’s hanger steak entree – they love steak – they headed over.

Once seated, they each ordered the hanger steak and garlic mashed potatoes. No wine, but with the box of chocolates factored in, Dan Galvis figures their bill “had to be over $100.”

Noting that “we don’t get to see the good side very often,” Galvis said they were dumbstruck by their good fortune. “We just sat there staring at each other,” he said. “We didn’t know what to say.”

Josh Dore, who has handled reservations at Fore Street for a decade, said he has seen people buy drinks for another table, or send over something special for an anniversary, but a stranger picking up the entire check was “a first” for him. He found out about the incident from a note left by the staff.

“I know who (the benefactor) is, but he wished to remain anonymous, so I can’t disclose his information,” Dore said, “but the staff-written note said: ‘1/29/16 – (Donors) had a great meal, picked up a random table’s check and asked to be anonymous, happy to pay it forward.’ ” The note ended with the staffer’s own assessment: “They were very generous people.’ ”

Galvis said now it’s his turn.

“You read about this stuff, but when it happens to you, it’s just unbelievable,” he said. “I would like to reach out whoever did this and let them know that we intend to pay this forward. We are going to do it here next time we go out to eat.”


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