There aren't too many people in Seattle who have the breadth of celebrity stories like Metropolitan Grill Maître d' Craig Summers. He's been in the industry and has seen it all—most of which is not fit to print. In the nearly two-decades he's been at The Met, he's mingled with Kevin Costner, J-Lo, Kate Hudson, Alex Rodriguez, presidents and entertainers. Who better to talk to during Whale Week for an inside take on rubberband banks—and who actually has them?
What happened to the Millionaire Martini?
I don't think we do it now because our old bar manager did it. It was pretty cool. It was about $100. It had Grand Marnier, little gold flakes around the rim. And you got to keep the martini glass it came in. It was a show thing.
Do you get a fair share of millionaires come into The Met?
We get our fair share of people with money who come into The Met. Bill and Melinda (Gates) come in pretty often. We always have this big table that they like. They like a booth right in the middle of the restaurant so they can see the whole thing. Normally, we'd seat five or six people (in the booth), but it's just the two of them.
Are there strict rules at The Met about approaching celebrities?
We have strict rules about our interaction with celebrity-status people. We are there to serve them and treat them and give them great service just like everyone else. We are not clingy and hanging all over them. We can't ask them for their autograph.
You're not a server anymore, so you're not exactly waiting on these people, right?
No, but I did wait on Bill Gates and Bill Clinton. They had their own booth, just the two of them. There was Secret Service sitting all over the place. One of the guys I work with, it was his section—he was supposed to wait on them. He just got really nervous and said to me, "I'm too nervous. I can't do it," and I said, "I'm up! I'm in! I'm your man!" So, I went over and introduced myself and Bill Clinton was so engaging.
When people like that come in, do they usually drop a bunch of money?
No. You'd be surprised, they don't.
I'll tell you which group of athletes spend more money than anyone else: baseball players.
Are we talking across the board or Mariners specifically?
I'm talking across the board. Amongst all the athletes that come into the restaurant, baseball players tend to come in more often than any other sport. It's really weird. When opposing teams are in town playing the Mariners, we usually always can count on the opposing team coming in to check out The Met. Next would be basketball players. Last is usually football. Although, I don't remember seeing a lot of soccer players, either.
Speaking of sports, Summers did reveal who the biggest Met baller of them all was; a dude who drops thousands of dollars whenever he comes on down. While divulging his name isn't permitted, the baller in question is involved in a local sports team if you want to drop your guesses in the comments.