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Starlite's Mule Mugs Disappear at Alarming Rate

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Welcome to Shit People Steal, a new feature in which Eater San Diego asks bar owners and restaurateurs what items in their restaurant have been (or are frequently) stolen.
starlite%20mules.jpg[Starlite Mules, courtesy photo]

Cocktails are tops at India Street's Starlite, especially their signature drink, a riff on a Moscow Mule that mixes Rain Organic vodka with ginger beer, lime and Angostura bitters (they're $6 on Sunday and Monday), served in oft-pilfered copper mugs. The mugs also serve as a vessel for their equally tasty Kentucky Colonel ($6 every Wednesday, mug not included), a darker blend of Buffalo Trace bourbon, ginger beer, lemon juice and house-made cherry vanilla bitters.

After the jump, Starlite co-owner Matt Hoyt tells Eater the Tale of the Missing Mugs. And here's a link to purchase your own, for the next time you're at Starlite and your hands get itchy.

Are you a bar owner or restauranteur with your own Shit People Steal story to share? Send them, no matter how ridiculous, to

"The mug mule theft is a very sensitive topic. It's a big expense for us and it's really depressing for our bottom line. When we used to write "please don't steal our mugs" on the menu...I think it put the idea TO ACTUALLY steal the mugs into people's heads.

We have trained staff to look for the tell-tale signs of mug theft and intercept diners as they try to leave with the mugs. For instance, people try to walk casually into the restroom with their mug and staff makes a point to keep an eye on that person all night. Another is when we see people dump out their ice and garnish into a water glass...and that's when a staff member may walk over and say "those mugs aren't to-go".

We also have cameras. I think we're close to calling the cops the next time we have somebody walk off with a couple, because it'd be funny and awesome to send the message that we mean business.

What's crazy to me is that the people who steal mugs are the types of people who wouldn't cheat on their taxes, steal something from Macy's or jaywalk, but they think it's okay to shoplift at a restaurant?

Another strange thing: people steal our hand soap dispensers from the bathrooms. I mean, soap dispensers from Ikea???"
· Starlite San Diego [Official Site]


3175 India Street, , CA 92103 (619) 358-9766 Visit Website


3175 India Street San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 358-9766