A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from December 16, 2021
“You know a restaurant is fancy when instead of bringing the bill, they bring the William”

A joke has it that a fancy restaurant doesn’t give you a “bill,” it gives you a “william.”

“At the end of meals in formal restaurants remember to ask for the William. #Bill” was posted on Twitter by Jared Weisman on January 6, 2013.  “When I eat at a fancy restaurant I say ‘can I get the William, Richard?’ They say ‘The what?’ I say ‘the bill, dick’” was posted on Twitter by @BlueWithFog on April 7, 2013. “Love my dad, whenever we’re at restaurant and he goes to ask for the bill he says, ‘can I get the William?’ The waiters always stare at him” was posted on Twitter by Tyra on October 9, 2013.

“You know a restaurant is fancy when instead of bringing the bill, they bring the William” was posted on Twitter by Lauren Reeves on March 9, 2014. “if you wanna look sophisticated at a restaurant just ask the waiter for ‘the william’ instead of ‘the bill’” was posted on Twitter by Reptilia on September 21, 2017. “Went to a fancy restaurant for dinner, and the waiter kept correcting the way i said the dishes. After i finished eating, trying not to be outdone, i asked for the william” was posted on Reddit—Dadjokes on December 17, 2021.


Twitter
Jared Weisman❄
@JRWeisman
At the end of meals in formal restaurants remember to ask for the William. #Bill
10:08 PM · Jan 6, 2013·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
[Black circle][Shushing face]ag
@BlueWithFog
@thesulk When I eat at a fancy restaurant I say “can I get the William, Richard?” They say “The what?” I say “the bill, dick.”
11:04 PM · Apr 7, 2013·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Tyra
@tyrapower
Love my dad, whenever we’re at restaurant and he goes to ask for the bill he says, “can I get the William?” The waiters always stare at him
7:18 PM · Oct 9, 2013·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Seán Burke
@SeanBurkeShow
I was in such a posh restaurant last night that I asked for the ‘William’ instead of the ‘Bill’.
8:55 AM · Jan 14, 2014·Twitter for Android

Reddit—Dadjokes
Posted by u/ImRedditingOnMyPhonr January 29, 2014
At the restaurant my dad didn’t ask for the bill.
He asked for the William.

Twitter
Lauren Reeves
@laurenreeves
You know a restaurant is fancy when instead of bringing the bill, they bring the William.
10:37 PM · Mar 9, 2014·Echofon

Twitter
Jonjo Roberts
@jonjoroberts
It’s “Wills” in really posh restaurants. RT @MattKeilerSimon: You know you’re in a posh restaurant when the bill is called the William.
7:58 PM · Mar 12, 2014·Twitter for Mac

Reddit—Dadjokes
Posted by u/[deleted] May 29, 2015
“Could I please get the William?”
“The William?”
“Yes, you might know him as Bill.”
My dad used to say this whenever we went out for dinner and he was getting the check. I don’t think there was a single server who found the joke funny. He even tried it at a restaurant in Paris once.. “Garcon, William s’il vous plais!”

twitter
Saeb Haidar
@saebhaidar
1 star restaurant: “You need the bill man?”
5 star restaurant: “Would you like me to bring you the William sir?”
11:51 PM · Apr 2, 2016·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Reptilia
@maaaaaadiison
if you’re at a nice restaurant, it’s classier to ask for the william instead of the bill
9:55 PM · Jun 17, 2016 from Seattle, WA·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Steven Galloni
@SGalloni
Does anyone else ask for the William when asking for the bill at a restaurant? Or is that just me......#William #BillPlease #HowMuch
12:55 PM · Dec 22, 2016·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Reptilia
@maaaaaadiison
if you wanna look sophisticated at a restaurant just ask the waiter for “the william” instead of “the bill”
10:12 PM · Sep 21, 2017 from Pullman, WA·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Kyle Marsh
@kylemarshesq
At posh restaurants, the bill is called the William.
9:06 AM · Mar 3, 2018·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
little miss bike helmet
@capybarafever
*at a restaurant*: can I get the bill?
*at a fancy restaurant*: can I get the william?
6:26 PM · Dec 30, 2018·Twitter Web App

Twitter
Matt Engel
@MattEngel53
At fancy restaurants I don’t ask for the bill. I ask for the William.
6:56 PM · Aug 17, 2019·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Rosie Simmons
@rosiesimmons
A restaurant so fancy that when you want the bill you have to refer to it as the william
10:55 AM · Aug 18, 2019 from Baltimore, MD·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Zack Hankins
@ZackHankins
Do fine dining restaurants call the bill “the william”?
8:58 PM · Feb 26, 2020·Twitter for Android

Twitter
𝖘𝖑𝖊𝖎𝖌𝖍𝖒𝖞
@amyalicetattoo
Restaurant so fancy they got us asking for the William at the end x
4:28 PM · Sep 1, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
GRINDCSnowmanRE GUY
@aidanposting
Replying to @monoamineqveen
when we’re ready at a restaurant my grandfather asks for the “William” and he has countless other dumb quirks and phrases
it is all he has
3:08 PM · Nov 25, 2020·Twitter Web App

Twitter
boop
@heIveticabIack
*on a date at a fancy restaurant*. It’s ok babe, i’ll pay the william
5:09 PM · Dec 13, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Mr Make You Think
@kalourd
When you’re at a formal restaurant, do you ask for the check or for the William?
7:41 AM · Feb 14, 2021·Twitter for Android

Twitter
sean
@DilettanteryPod
You haven’t been to a fancy restaurant till you’ve been to one that calls the bill “the william”
3:42 AM · Feb 28, 2021·Twitter Web App

Twitter
𝚓𝚎𝚋𝚛𝚊𝚜𝚔𝚊
@justindecisive_
if you go to a fancy restaurant and ask for the bill they’ll bring you the william
2:19 PM · May 1, 2021·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Celya AB
@abcelya
Restaurant so fancy that at the end you ask for the William.
6:26 AM · Jul 27, 2021·Twitter for iPhone

Twitter
Alastic
@arlast
I’m working to bring a sense of formality back to society. When I’m ready to pay at a restaurant, instead of asking for the bill I ask for the william.
6:43 PM · Sep 23, 2021·Twitter for Android

Reddit—Dadjokes
Posted by u/Blakut December 17, 2021
Went to a fancy restaurant for dinner, and the waiter kept correcting the way i said the dishes.
After i finished eating, trying not to be outdone, i asked for the william.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Coffeehouses/Food Stores • Thursday, December 16, 2021 • Permalink